\\"In some cases, bottled water is actually bottled tap water,\\" writes study author Catherine Ferrier of the University of Geneva in Switzerland. The major categories of bottled water include natural mineral water or spring water�both of which originate underground. They are protected against pollution and cannot be chemically treated. Bottled water can also contain purified water -- surface or underground water that requires treatment to be suitable for human consumption.
But purified water differs from tap water in only two ways: it is bottled and it is more expensive, the report indicates. The worldwide bottled water market is worth an estimated $22 billion, the report indicates. Further, it costs an average of 500 to 1,000 times more than tap water.
According to the freshwater program at the World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF), which commissioned the study \\"Consumers in developed countries should look at what they\'re buying, in many cases, they may not need it�. According to a recent report in Archives of Family Medicine, tap water is often safer than bottled water--it has less bacteria and more fluoride than most of the bottled waters that are sold in the United States. \\"Bottled waters should not be considered a sustainable alternative to tap water: they are not exempt of periodical contamination and are less energy-efficient than tap water,\\" the report concludes.
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