While Iowans are balking at paying a dollar-50 a gallon for gasoline, many don’t give a second thought to paying a dollar or more for a quart of bottled water. Iowa State Extension nutritionist Betsy Schafer says if you’re buying bottled water because you think it’s healthier — you may be throwing your money down the drain. Schafer says most of Iowa’s water systems have water that is perfectly fine to drink and you gain no advantage by purchasing bottled water.Schafer is the co-author of a new publication that gives tips on buying bottled water. She says paying more for bottled water doesn’t mean you get a better product. You can’t judge the water by price, you need to look at where it came from. She says some companies just fill bottles from a tap and put a fancy label on them. She says you should read the water’s label carefully. She says if the label doesn’t tell you the water is from a spring, you should be wary. Schafer says there’s one thing missing from most bottled waters that could be a problem.Most bottled waters are low in fluoride — which is important to strong tooth and bone development. Schafer’s fact sheet on bottled water includes tips for buying and storing the water and a comparison of some common brands. You can get a copy of the fact sheet called “Bottled Water – to drink or not to drink” at your county extension office. It’s also available via the extension department website at www.extension.iastate.edu