09 July, 2006

Bottled water king

Which of the following countries consumes the most bottled water on a per person basis?

ANSWERS: A. United States B. United Arab Emirates C. Mexico D. Italy
B. United Arab Emirates is not correct.

The 2.6 million people of the United Arab Emirates are the third-largest consumer of bottled water on a per person basis, taking in 163.5 liters per person per year. This is more than Saudi Arabians, who drink 87.8 liters per year and the Lebanese, who drink 101.4 liters per year.

This means that the United Arab Emirates' per person water consumption is nearly seven times the global average of 24.2 liters per person per year.

More here...


Anonymous said...

Sam...the last para you quoted doesn't specifically mention bottled water.

Don't you just love statistics!

Are we comparing apples with oranges, or with tomatoes?

samuraisam said...

well as you've probably guessed I didn't write it; but considering the context, and the number of people in the UAE that sip masafi at every possible opportunity, i'm going to consider it is talking about bottled water.
Also from another source...which claims the "Bottled Water Consumption per Person" for the world as being 24.2 liters in the year 2004

bandicoot said...

Another source gives the figure of 265 liters of bottled water per/capita annually in the UAE. Incidentally it also lists the UAE as the highest water consumer for all purposes in the World. This is supported by another source citing stats from 2003 that show UAE = 133 gallons/per capita/per day compared to USA=85); I’m not sure about these figures as other sources I saw in the past usually list UAE in 3rd place (after USA and Canada). Discrepancies might have to do with what kind of water is being considered (drinking, fresh, household use, agriculture, industries, etc.).

BD said...

But you see, in the UAE people have no choice but to drink bottled water as what's pumped through the tap is not considered good enough, while in many other countries people drink straight from the tap--meaning they drink a lot of water but not that much of it bottled. So, you still have here apples and organges.

Which brings me to another statistic often reported--that the water usage per capita here in the UAE is so high--like second in the world after the US. Such reports never clarify whether or not all the water that goes into irrigation is included in the total amount, which would thus provide an abnormally high ratio. The fact that the desert is flooded with water for greenery, doesn't indicate that consumers are using a lot of water.

Such sloppy reporting!

samuraisam said...

bd: you can actually filter the tap water; and i'm guessing quite a large chunk of the population doesn't have the money for bottled water, so tap water must suffice.

From what i've heard tap water is perfectly fine to drink, just the minerals etc are absent or something (beyond my knowledge).

I actually made a post about bottled vs tap water in the UAE sometime back here; keep in mind most people using the internet in the UAE are from the upper echelons of society, so don't expect those responses to be anywhere near those that you'd get if you looked at society as a whole.

Keefieboy said...

UAE tap water starts out as perfectly pure (ie chemically neutral), which is probably why it doesn't taste great - no trace minerals. Of course the purity can be affected by the state of the pipes it has to travel through to get from the desal plant to your tap.

secretdubai said...

in the UAE people have no choice but to drink bottled water as what's pumped through the tap is not considered good enough

But they do have a choice - all water in the taps here in metro areas is 100% potable. It might not taste as good as Perrier, but it's totally safe and drinkable. You can improve the flavour by filtering it too.

The only reason I buy bottled water is because I like sparkling water. So I buy Oasis Lemon (Lemon & Mint is also nice) in six packs. But if I was a flat-water drinker, I'd filter.

Grumpy Goat said...

I drink the stuff that comes out of the tap. And I use tap water for brushing my teeth and for cooking.

There's nothing wrong with UAE tap water unless you've got a really delicate constitution.

samuraisam said...

secretdubai: "but it's totally safe"; while the water from the desalination plant may be safe, you really have to be careful of piping, particularly in older houses; in my neighbours house, their two 4/5/6 (young simply put) children both got some disease/infection from the water supply; I can't remember what is specifically was, but it involved diarrhea along with some other nasties; supposedly the water tower in the middle of the compound had its roof damaged over time, and seeing as rats and birds live up there; one must've died and fell in the tank, which means, I, Samurai Sam the honorably great bathed in rat and parrot innards for quite a while.

But aside from the dead rats and parrots; if Gulf War 9 and 3 quarters ever began, and the water was cut off, in our compound the gravity pushes the water to each of the houses, meaning we'd have water and all of you morons with your pansy water supplies would be dehydrated.

bandicoot said...

I heard some unpleasant stories about the kind and state of pipes used to carry water. May be it's rumor; maybe it's not. Part of the problem here is the lack of reliable information. Is there any source out there that is knowledgeable and trust-worthy enough to answer the simple question of whether piped water is safe for drinking or not? I think not. The question of water tanks is another dimension to the problem; I've seen how our water tank was once "cleaned" and it just convinced me that buying those large Oasis water bottles was a worthy investment.

samuraisam said...

yeah but bandicoot what do they store water in in the oasis factory?
Probably in a larger scale "water tank"; and being that this is the UAE, i'm doubtful of any regulations even existing (even if they exist, enforcement is another question) that specifically demand rigorous cleaning;
but having said that, i've lived off filter tap water and later on masafi/oasis bottled water for pretty much my entire life and i'd say i'm pretty healthy.

bandicoot said...

I know Sam, I'm afraid if I see where they store that water at Oasis and Masafi plants I'd stop drinking water altogether! That's why it's better to be a camel in this country...at least until they take you to the races.

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