Bottled water is now more popular than soda.  U.S. consumption hit 39.3 gallons per capita last year while carbonated soft drink consumption fell to 38.5 gallons.  It’s the first time that’s happened, according to Beverage Marking Corp.   But at least one quarter of the sales of bottled water still belongs to Coca Cola and Pepsi through their Dasani and Aquafina brands.  But even with bottled water as opposed to soda, there are still health issues.  45% of bottled water comes from some municipal water source in spite of the mountain spring image most people have of bottled water.  Perrier started the trend to bottled water four decades ago, but not all European waters are free of chemicals.  Among the main compounds found by German toxicologists are something called EDCs, which act like hormones in the body, causing diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease.  And plastic bottles clog landfills and enter the world’s oceans.  Americans discard 33.6m tons of plastic each year with only 6.5% of it recycled and 7.7% used in waste-to-energy facilities according to a 2015 study at the University of Georgia.

New this week at the movies, the action/crime film “Baby Driver” opened on 3,200 screens Wednesday.  The Will Ferrell / Amy Poehler comedy “The House” opens today on 3,100 screens.  And the animated feature “Despicable Me 3” opens huge on over 4,500 screens. 

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer announced this morning that Comic-Con will remain in San Diego through at least 2021.  The giant annual convention’s deal with the city was set to expire next year.  It reportedly bring in $2.8m in tax revenues and has a total economic impact of about $135m.  Comic-Con began in the basement of the U.S. Grant Hotel in 1970 and grew through several other city locations before settling in the convention center in 1991.  This year’s event begins Wednesday, July 19 and runs through Sunday the 23rd

Southern California Edison solar customers, including those in the Temecula Valley get a new set of rules beginning tomorrow.  Net metering 2.0, is the result of legislation AB 327 four years ago, which was designed to kill the solar industry.  It had been introduced at the request of oil lobbyists in Sacramento.  But Daniel Sullivan, president of Sullivan Solar Power says it’s had the opposite effect, with solar systems transitioning away from selling excess to public utilities.  Just as the compensation power companies are offering to people who produce energy from solar panels is being reduced, new battery technologies are allowing those home generation systems to store power for nighttime use on property, maximizing the return on investment for solar.  Bottom line is it’s still financially attractive to go solar, and now there’s a rebate for the batteries.  That incentive will gradually be reduced and is currently down from its initial level to “step 2”.  Federal tax credits for solar systems may still be available.  San Diego County has had net metering 2.0 since last year.