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Behind the bottled water wars

NBC's Bob Faw heads to Chicago to ask consumers whether they believe the claims bottled water makers are making.

Water, water everywhere, and oh, such drops to drink.

"All waters are not created equally," says Chris Durbin, the CEO of Skinny Water.

"It's vapor-distilled, for purity you can taste," says J. Darius Bikoff, CEO of Smart Water, about his product.

Water, water everywhere, and no, the claims don't shrink.

"[It's] in a fashion, emotionally-charged bottle," says the CEO of Borba Water Scott Vincent Borba. "If you drink this twice a day, within 28 days you will see a 30 percent  reduction in fine lines and wrinkles on your entire body."

Never mind that scientists scoff.

"I think these claims are ludicrous," says Dr. David Robbins, a specialist in digestive diseases at the Beth Israel Medical Center in New York. "Among my colleagues in medicine, we all feel universally that these claims are really fully unsubstantiated."

What does he know?  He admits he drinks — tap water.

Confused, we went to Chicago's Lincoln Park, and wet the whistle of consumers who plunk down $10 billion a year for bottled waters.

When we told Kathy Haff that drinking a certain brand will suppress her appetite, she laughed, "I want some of this, then!"

Not everyone, though, was licking his chops.

"Tastes like tap water," opined Janem Woodard when we gave him a sample.

As for those claims, like the one from the Skinny Water CEO who says, "you drink it and you're going to eat less," well, even though P.T. Barnum said there's a sucker born every minute, we didn't find many.

"Nah, I'm all right," said Courtney Keen, when we offered her some water that claims to keep drinkers young.

"I think it's a marketing ploy," said Andrew Millard.

So, the experts caution skepticism.

"You know, water is water," says Dr. Robbins. "They're praying on the fears of the public that you can buy a glass of water instead of going to the gym and adhering to a more general program."

But back on the front lines of the water wars, no dousing those claims with cold water, here, as we thirst for the fountain of youth — and then some.

"We're re-inventing what water has done for society," says Scott Vincent Borba.

"I think we're at the tip of the iceberg," adds Skinny Water's Durbin.