The Myth and Reality of Bottled Water

The Myth and Reality of Bottled Water

Published: November 2004

Authors: Peter Gleick

Pages: 27

The Myth and Reality of Bottled Water


Sales and consumption of bottled water have skyrocketed in recent years. But users should not assume that the purity of bottled water is adequately protected, regulated, or monitored; in many countries, such as the United States, bottlers themselves do most of the sampling and testing, which opens the door to fraud, misreporting, and inadequate protection.

This chapter of The World’s Water, The Biennial Report on Freshwater Resources: 2004-2005 reviews the recent history and trends in bottled water, the regulations governing bottled water production and sales, and growing concerns about the costs and implications of bottled water use. The author determines that the provision of clean water will not come from sales of bottled water, but from the effective actions of communities, governments, and municipal providers to provide a safe and reliable domestic water supply.

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