Bottled Water: An Update

Published: November 2006
Authors: Peter Gleick
Pages: 5




The 2004 volume of The World’s Water discussed the growing phenomenon of bottled use around the world, particularly in regions where high-quality tap water is available, as in most of North America and Western Europe (Gleick 2004).

This “In Brief” updates recent events and provides new data on bottled water use. Bottled-water sales continue to grow rapidly, as does controversy over its use (Water Technology News 2006a; Arnold 2006). Total annual sales are now on the order of $50 to $100 billion dollars, for over 150 million cubic meters (m3). Growth in sales has been particularly rapid in Asia and South America, where sales have nearly tripled since 1997. Figure WB 1.1 and Table WB 1.1 show the total sales over time for the major continental regions.