24/7 Space News
Half of bottled water sales enough to provide safe tap water to all: UN report
Half of bottled water sales enough to provide safe tap water to all: UN report
By Michel COMTE
Ottawa (AFP) March 16, 2023

Half of the money spent globally on bottled water -- sales of which have exploded in recent decades -- would be enough to provide universal access to clean drinking water from taps, according to a UN study released Thursday.

A shift in drinking habits away from bottled water would also lead to a big drop in plastics waste, as an estimated 85 percent of bottles end up in landfills, the report says.

However, the study's Canada-based authors flag that a misconception around the safety of both tap and bottled water plays a major role in individuals' preferences.

"The perception is that bottled water is the healthiest option," lead author Zeineb Bouhlel told AFP.

"But we've shown that this is not necessarily the case, and people are paying a lot more for bottled water, from 150 to 1,000 times higher than for a liter of tap water," she said.

According to the study, contaminants have been found in hundreds of bottled water brands in more than 40 countries, often exceeding local or global standards.

Over the past decade, global bottled water sales jumped 73 percent to almost $270 billion and 350 billion liters.

Some 600 billion plastic bottles are produced each year, amounting to approximately 25 million tonnes of plastic waste.

In the Global North, consumers tend to buy bottled water because of its portability and a perception it is healthier and tastier than tap water, whereas in the Global South sales are usually spurred by a lack of reliable public water supplies.

The report notes that the bottled water industry is mostly unregulated, as policymakers have been unable to keep pace with its rapid expansion.

This has brought risks such as "uncontrolled groundwater withdrawal for bottling," which could eventually lead to groundwater depletion or scarcity, the authors said.

Vladimir Smakhtin of the UN University's Institute of Water Environment and Health in Hamilton, Canada, said that two billion people still do not have access to safely managed drinking water.

The situation is worst in Sub-Saharan Africa, and globally it is compounded by the continuing expansion of bottled water markets, which he argued distracts attention and resources from public water systems development.

There has been some progress, with 74 percent of the world's population in 2020 using safely managed drinking water, up from 62 percent in 2000.

But "we are significantly off-track" to meeting a UN target of making drinking water universally available by 2030, said Smakhtin, a co-author of the report, adding that "the current trend is not sustainable."

"We must try to invest more in public water supplies to provide people with stable reliable water rather than bottled," he said.

The reports' authors also called for more transparency and legal measures that would compel bottled water companies to publicly disclose water volumes extracted and assess the environmental consequences of their activities.

Related Links
Water News - Science, Technology and Politics

Subscribe Free To Our Daily Newsletters

The following news reports may link to other Space Media Network websites.
New US standards to limit 'forever chemicals' in drinking water
Washington (AFP) March 14, 2023
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed new standards on Tuesday to limit levels of harmful so-called "forever chemicals" in public drinking water. The move targets polyfluoroalkyl and perfluoroalkyl substances known as PFAS that have been found to cause cancer and other health problems. Under the proposed new EPA rules, public water utilities will be required to monitor for six PFAS chemicals and reduce PFAS levels in the water supply. EPA administrator Michael Regan said the ... read more

SpaceX cargo resupply mission CRS-27 scheduled for launch Tuesday

NASA SpaceX Crew-5 splashes down after 5-month mission

China to revamp science, tech in face of foreign 'suppression'

DLR goes all in with new technology at the Startup Factory

SpaceX launches Cargo Dragon carrying supplies and experiments to ISS

Private firm to launch maiden rocket flight in Spain

Launch of Relativity Space's 3D-printed rocket aborted

Launch of world's first 3D-printed rocket canceled at last second

Building on Luna and Mars with StarCrete the double stength concrete

ExoMars: Back on track for the Red Planet

Crossing Off Our Liens at Tapo Caparo: Sols 3769-3770

Taking turns with Tapo Caparo: Sols 3766-37368

Shenzhou XV crew takes second spacewalk

China conducts ignition test in Mengtian space lab module

China plans robotic spacecraft to collect samples from asteroid

China's space station experiments pave way for new space technology

HawkEye 360's latest satellite cluster begins operation

Spacetime will orchestrate LEO network for Rivada constellation

Eutelsat and Intelsat sign multi-orbit contract enhancing connectivity with OneWeb

SpaceX launches 40 OneWeb internet satellites, lands booster

MIT 3D-printed revolving devices can sense how they are moving

Venezuela, China, Biden and extraterrestrials: the disinformation of AI

Costa Rica's 'urban mine' for planet-friendlier lithium

Exploring the nanoworld of biogenic gems

Distant star TOI-700 has two potentially habitable planets

How do microbes live off light

Rutgers scientists identify substance that may have sparked life on earth

DLR Gottingen helps in the search for signs of life in space

Study finds ocean currents may affect rotation of Europa's icy crust

Inspiring mocktail menu served up by Space Juice winners

First the Moon, now Jupiter

Newly discovered form of salty ice could exist on surface of extraterrestrial moons

Subscribe Free To Our Daily Newsletters

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2024 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Statement Our advertisers use various cookies and the like to deliver the best ad banner available at one time. All network advertising suppliers have GDPR policies (Legitimate Interest) that conform with EU regulations for data collection. By using our websites you consent to cookie based advertising. If you do not agree with this then you must stop using the websites from May 25, 2018. Privacy Statement. Additional information can be found here at About Us.