Bottled Water In China – Boom Or Bust?
by China Water Risk 24 September, 2015
24 September, 2015 – It has only taken China two decades to become the world’s largest bottled water consumer and a major producer. But given China’s much publicized water woes from pollution to scarcity and droughts, can China’s bottled water market continue to boom? We explore this in our new report, “Bottled Water In China – Boom Or Bust?“
The report seeks to go behind the bottle to explore the rise of the bottled water industry and its exposure to physical water risks. It also reviews the steps taken by the government to protect water sources and regulate the bottled water industry. We also take a look at provincial actions which may be somewhat contradictory to national actions. In a country with not a lot of water, the future of bottled water could look very different. Key highlights from the report below.
- China’s bottled water consumption has exploded from a mere 2.8 million m3 in 1997 to 39.5 million m3 in 2013, growing much faster than the global average;
- In 2013 China consumed 15% of bottled water globally, surpassing the US to become the No.1 consumer;
- The convenience factor and concern over drinking water safety are key drivers of the rapid growth;
- But the lack of regulations for bottled water means that consumers are left in the dark about water quality and can actually just be drinking tap water;
- This booming market has attracted both domestic and foreign investments but can still be 8.5x larger;
- Bottled water is water intensive and energy intensive – water use by the industry in 2012 can fill more than 20 west lakes. The industry also uses one Jinmao Towers of plastic a year and its energy consumption is comparable to the annual electricity generated by the Three Gorges Dam (98.1TWh);
- Up to almost three extra bottles of water as well as a quarter bottle of oil are needed to produce one bottle of water;
- The government is moving to protect water through various plans like the Water Ten. This will impact the bottled water industry and means contradictory national & provincial actions will be realigned, like exporting some of China’s highest quality water to Japan & South Korea;
- With over 70% of China’s bottled water produced in water scarce and stressed provinces, the risk to industry has moved beyond CSR with real physical water scarcity & regulatory risks; and
- Bottled water is threatening China’s groundwater and Asia’s glacial watersheds. It’s time for a bottled water revolution.
China’s bottled water stands at a fork in the road: the future is uncertain.
For a country that has an average per capita water resource that is roughly a quarter of the world average, producing bottled water is a luxury. The bottled water you are drinking has great impact. Know what you are drinking with our comprehensive overview.
The report is available in English & Chinese. (If you are in China and the English report is taking a while to download, please click here)
You can also check out “8 Things You Should Know About Bottled Water In China & The Rise Of Plastic Walled Cities” in English & Chinese.
2015年9月24日 – 中国只用了不到20年时间，就成为世界上最大的瓶装水消费国。备受水污染与水资源短缺困扰的中国，能否支撑瓶装水市场的持续繁荣？在最新发布的《中国瓶装水：繁荣还是衰败》里，我们试图寻找答案。