The consumption of bottled water has been increasing consistently over the last decade, even in countries where tap water quality is considered excellent. This paper discusses some of the reasons why people decide for an option that is often more expensive and less comfortable than tap water. Consumer surveys usually stress two main factors: dissatisfaction with tap water organoleptics (especially taste) and health/risk concerns. However, many other factors are involved, including demographic variables and the perceived quality of the water source. Trust in tap water companies also seems to influence public behaviour. A clearer picture of bottled water consumption can be achieved when different aspects are considered.

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