• In the 19th century contaminated water from taps and pumps spread the killer disease cholera, Bottled water became popular as a safe alternative.
In 1741 the English scientist Dr William Brownrigg created the first artificial mineral water. He added health giving minerals and carbon dioxide for fizziness. Dr Brownrigg was also the first scientist to extract the element platinum.
In 1792 Joseph Schweppe from 1915 moved from Vienna to London and began to produce his own brand of artificial mineral water. His company grew to become one of the world's most famous manufacturers of soft drinks.
French doctor Louis Perrier gave his name to Perrier water, which became the best-known mineral water in the world. In the 1960 James Bond novel For Your Eyes Only, Bond insists on drinking only this brand of water.
• The world drinks over 150 million litres of bottled water every year. That's enough to fill 60,000 Olympic-size swimming pools. In the UK people drink 2.1 billion litres of 35 litres per person, but Italians drink more bottled water than any other nation - 184 litres per person every year.
Many people choose bottled water over tap water because it lacks substances, such as chlorine, which affect the flavour of tap water and bottles are portable. Bottled water is also produced to strict safety standards, so in some places it may be safer,
• Bottled water removes billions of litres of underground water, while making and transporting the bottles uses huge amounts of energy. Over 2.5 million tonnes of plastic go into the bottles every year and this has to be disposed of. Bottled water may also lack fluoride and other useful minerals found in tap water so may be less healthy than the water in our hames.