How much does bottled water and tap water cost around the world?

Bottled water is most expensive to buy in Oslo and cheapest in Beirut, according to a new report

Al AIn, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES, April 8, 2014:   
A production line employee loads up a pile of water-bottle forms inside the blowing room, where bottles get their distinctive shape, as he work at the Al Ain Water bottling facility on Tuesday, April 8, 2014, in Al Ain. (Silvia Razgova / The National)

Reporter:  Thamer Subaihi
Section: National
Usage: April 8, 2014
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A 500 millilitre bottle of still water is the most expensive to buy in the Norwegian capital Oslo, where consumers have to spend $1.84, and is the cheapest in Beirut at just 4 cents, according to a survey.

In comparison, a 500ml bottle of water in Tel Aviv, Israel, costs $1.31, ranking it seventh in a list of 120 cities tracked by vacation rental search engine to gauge how the price of water varies worldwide.
Kuwait offers more affordable bottled water, with a 500ml unit costing $0.19, according to the index results released on Thursday, ahead of World Water Day on March 22.


The median price for a 500ml bottle of still water was determined by comparing the average price per bottle of three of the most common water brands such as Evian, Perrier and Nestlé.

“There are locations where people buy bottled water because it is healthier and safer to drink than local tap water, however, what the water quality indicator confirms is that in many popular holiday destinations, the local water is perfectly fine to drink,” Johannes Siebers, chief executive and co-founder of, said.

“The results show that the local tap water is often a much cheaper option for budget-conscious travellers, as well as being infinitely more environmentally-friendly.”

Bottled water consumption has surged over the past decade. The global bottled water market size is expected to reach $505.19 billion by 2028 and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate of 11.1 per cent from 2021 to 2028, according to a report by Grand View Research.


Oslo also topped the index for most expensive bottled water globally even when comparing prices across several brands. A 500ml bottle costs 194.9 per cent more in Oslo than the global median price of $0.68, followed by Tel Aviv, Israel, (+123.9 per cent) and New York, US (+76.42 per cent), according to the survey.

In contrast, Istanbul in Turkey offers the cheapest 500ml bottled water across brands, costing 69.4 per cent less than the median price, followed by Naples (-67.45 per cent) and Milan, Italy (-51.25 per cent).

Local tap water is often a much cheaper option for budget-conscious travellers

The research estimated global average water consumption per person a month at 15 cubic meters.

People in Oslo also pay the most for tap water, at 212.24 per cent more than the global median cost of a square cube of tap water of $2.14. People in San Francisco pay 183.6 per cent more than the median price, followed by those in Wellington, New Zealand (+173.2 per cent), according

Residents in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, pay the least for tap water, 98.17 per cent less than the median price, followed by Cairo, Egypt (-96.3 per cent) and Karachi, Pakistan (-95.71 per cent).

Innsbruck in Austria offers best the tap water quality, followed by Helsinki in Finland and Vienna. Lagos in Nigeria has the lowest water quality, followed by Karachi in Pakistan and Dakar in Senegal, according to the survey.

Dubai Municipality mandated hotels and restaurants in the emirate to offer customers filtered tap water as an alternative to bottled drinking water from 2020 in a bid to cut down on plastic waste and give cash-conscious diners more choices.