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CHINESE BOTTLED WATER MARKET: A NEW THREAT TO HUMAN HEALTH?

Recent data show that Chinese water resources are increasingly reducing as the country’s economic growth exceeds fresh water supplies.

Experts explain that this growth has resulted in severe water pollution. Additionally, researchers alarmingly highlight that only half of urban water supplies meet national quality standards.

While domestic demand increases, the ability of regulators to ensure quality will be increasingly under the spotlight, at the centre of debates and concerns.

Experts warn that in the next year, Chinese bottled water market will need to respond both to this increase in demand and to water scarcity. Consequently, authorities need to foster a firm commitment to quality control, in order to achieve concrete results.

In addition to that, estimates indicate that China will probably surpass the US becoming the world’s largest market for bottled water. In this framework, researchers outline that the Chinese situation is worsening due to some factors among which poor tap-water quality, increasing health awareness, higher income levels and international tourism. 

Data also show that bottled water sales in China grew from US$1 billion in 2000 to US$9 billion in 2012: additionally, studies forecast an annual growth rate of between 6% and 16.3% between 2010 and 2015. Experts suggest that these figures stress the importance to understand China’s bottled water market framework and the market forces that drive its growth and development.

Furthermore, the Chinese bottled water market is highly fragmented, rising concerns about the companies’ ability of delivering clean and safe water. In relation to that, in the recent past some industries have been implicated in contamination scandals. Thus, the Chinese government need to address threats to bottled water quality caused primarily by a lack of transparency, weak regulatory controls and artificially low prices, in order to avoid these scandals and ensuring the good quality of fresh water.

 

The gLAWcal Team

EPSEI project

Friday, 1 August 2014

(Source: ChinaDialogue)