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Where does the bottled water that the world consumes come from?

Have you ever wondered where does the bottled water comes from? These are the main springs that we consume.

The speed of modern life has left aside the reflection on consumption practices, which often pass by without even being questioned. Nowadays it is very common to get what we want at the moment because the hustle and bustle do not allow us to stop and question. We usually buy products without a second thought and do not ask ourselves where they come from. Bottled water is perhaps one of the most sold products worldwide, but very few people ask themselves where the liquid they are trying to hydrate themselves with really comes from and, even worse, if it really provides any benefit to the human body.

In the last decades, the bottled water industry has been growing wildly, and there are more and more options in the bottled water market. They range from the cheapest to those that boast of coming from the purest springs on the planet and top it off with luxury packaging.

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Luxury water has earned its place on supermarket shelves and is even ordered in droves through direct shipments. Some of them are bottled in glass and completely luxurious packaging, but what is certain is that all of them boast the same thing; the high purity and nutrients of the vital liquid for human beings. However, the only sommelier who specialized in water in India questions the supposed properties of bottled water.

According to Ganesh Iyer, India’s first and only sommelier and the chief operating officer of Finnish water brand Veen, when we drink bottled water we don’t really get anything.

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“Regular bottled water is just a leftover liquid when all its minerals are removed in the reverse osmosis process and, in doing so, the water is disinfected with chlorine disinfectants. On the other hand, when you drink natural mineral water, you get all the natural minerals that are essential for daily hydration.”

Why do we drink bottled water?

This should be the question at the heart of the matter. We know that water is essential for life and in the case of humans, it is their main source of minerals that are extremely necessary for proper blood flow, as well as for healthy nerve function and bone strengthening.

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Therefore, the primary answer would have to be that we drink bottled water for the sole purpose of obtaining the nutrients necessary to maintain a functionally healthy body. However, it seems that this premise has been eclipsed by the simple fact of drinking water regardless of its origin or the mechanisms by which it is obtained. The industry has taken advantage of the rush to obtain quick products to satisfy immediate needs, leaving aside the nutritional issue.

Of course, the culture of consumerism is completely reflected throughout the world and there are regions of the planet that have the highest consumption rates of bottled water.

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Countries that consume the most bottled water

Numerous factors have driven countries to the rapid consumption of bottled water, whether due to overpopulation, scarcity of drinking water or increasing wealth, several nations have the highest rates of bottled water consumption.

Undoubtedly, the country at the tip of the iceberg is China, which, due to its overpopulation and other factors such as pollution, consumes 39 billion liters of bottled water annually. The demand for the product is such that companies dedicated to the sale of so-called “fake water”, which does not meet hygienic standards, have emerged.

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The second largest consumer of this type of liquid is the United States, with 38 billion liters of water, due to the fact that it has such a large and varied territory that it does not have sufficient infrastructure for the distribution of drinking water.

In third place is Mexico with 31 billion liters per year consumed by its 120 million inhabitants. The scarcity of water, as well as problems related to the poor quality of the drinking water supply, have triggered an excessive consumption of bottled water.

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It is followed by Indonesia with 23.1 billion liters, Brazil with 18 billion liters, Thailand with 15 billion liters, and Italy and Germany, which are tied with 12 billion liters of bottled water.

Where does bottled water come from?

It is not always stipulated where the water that is marketed in packages around the world is extracted from. While some companies prefer to keep this information low profile, others use the geographic area of the extraction to make their product more attractive. Here is a list of some bottled water brands and where they obtain precious resources.

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- Evian: Cachat spring in the city of Vian-Les-Bains, which receives water from the French Alps.

- Zephyrhills: Crystal Springs, a spring that gets its water from a crack in the limestone bedrock in Florida.

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- Fiji Waters: artesian aquifer in the Yaqara Valley of Viti Levu, Fiji Islands.

- Dasani: obtained from different sources near the Coca-Cola Company’s bottling plants in the United States.

- Perrier: It is obtained from Les Bouillens (Les Bruges) spring in Vergèze, France.

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- San Pellegrino: Three different Italian springs fed by the Dolomite Mountains in Italy.

- Bonafont: It has five production plants in the Valley of Mexico, Villahermosa, Toluca, Guadalajara, and Culiacán, although it is well known that they continue to drill wells in the state of Puebla.

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- Santa María: San María spring at the foot of the Iztaccíhuatl volcano in Puebla, Mexico.

Story originally published in Ecoosfera

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