On my current trip to South Dakota, I felt thirsty as I waited for my plane. I walked to one end of the terminal and did not see a water fountain. I walked to the other end and did not see one either. I was sure I had missed it, so I repeated a loop around each of the 12 gates between security and the end of the terminal. No water fountains.
There were however merchants selling bottled water. I was stubborn enough to go into the men’s restroom and run sink water into my hands for a rebellious slurp to slake my thirst, but most everyone else was lining up to buy bottled water.
In my youth, airports had massive phone banks. Pittsburgh took pride in having the largest in the world. As those disappeared, we were essentially forced to decide between not being able to make a call or purchasing our own personal cell phone. The same process is now forcing us to buy bottled water, which is (1) A ripoff (2) A contributor to landfills overflowing with plastic bottles. A small example of how the disappearance of shared public amenities drives personal consumption.