Most drinking water has gone through a series of purification steps in order to remove any impurities, bacteria, or unwated substances. These processes cost money to run and therefore increase the price of the drinking water. Just as top shelf alcohol that has been distilled more times than well alcohol is more expensive, the same is true for water.
In short, time and energy are money. Any time or energy spent doing something needs to be accounted for. In the case of water, the time and energy spent cleansing the water is accounted for in a higher price per bottle or liter of water.
Do you mean bottled water, or the stuff you can buy at stores rather than coming from your own tap? If so, the reason it is so expensive comes down to the marketing process. They have to package, filter (although in many cases it is just running tap water through a purifier!), advertise, and in some cases acquire. Many bottled waters are foreign (imported) or taken from aquifers, which aren’t generally that cheap to access.
It’s generally better for your pocket book and the environment to bottel your own water with a home filtration system.
In parts of the world where fresh water is scarce, the expense of potable water is so high because the processes used to filter water are expensive and in some cases there is just too little water period. Middle Eastern and African countries must often deal with prolonged droughts and contaminated water. In such places, saltwater is the most (or only) available source. Since saltwater is not suitable for drinking desalinization is sometimes employed, but the process is so expensive that most countries won’t use it.
There are ways to help though. Lifestraws are portable water filtration systems that cleanse water of 99.9% or contaminants and diseases, including E. coli and the microbes that cause life threatening diarrhea and cholera (just to name a few). To donate a lifestraw, visit this page for links to several donation chapters based on country.
It is expensive for multiple reasons. 1. Marketing – bottled water companies know they can increase the price despite whether or not it has truly gone through all the purifying stages. 2. The cost to produce the bottles, labels, and cases of water, and transportation is very expensive.
Brita water filters are great. If you fill it up with tap water it purifys it and you can pour it into reusable bottles!
One of the biggest reasons is the name brand of the bottled water. For example, Evian is a lot more expensive than your local supermarket brand. There are many factors for this, but it’s mainly due to marketing like mcoffey mentioned. Some bottled water companies just use filtered tap water with a nice label, which increases the cost at the supermarket. You could be getting the same thing with a Brita filter for a lot less money.
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