The global risks of increasing reliance on bottled water

The rapid growth of bottled water use in low- and middle-income countries, and its normalization as a daily source of drinking water, does not provide a pathway to universal access. Generous and sustained investment in centralized and community utilities remains the most viable means for achieving safe water access for all.

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Fig. 1: Bottled water consumption trends in the top 10 bottled-water-consuming countries from 2004–2016.
Fig. 2: LMICs among the top 10 bottled-water-consuming countries.

Change history

  • 26 July 2018

    When this Comment was originally published, the associated Supplementary Information file was not uploaded; this has now been rectified.


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The authors thank their colleagues A. Post, H. Silverberg, J. Colford, K. Nelson and S. Karasaki for helpful comments on an earlier draft of this Comment. Partial funding for this work was provided by the College of Natural Resources at the University of California, Berkeley, USA.

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Correspondence to Alasdair Cohen.

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Cohen, A., Ray, I. The global risks of increasing reliance on bottled water. Nat Sustain 1, 327–329 (2018).

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