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Mexicans biggest users of bottled water

  |   Sept. 24, 2010 at 8:45 PM
MEXICO CITY, Sept. 24 (UPI) -- More bottled water is consumed per capita in Mexico than anywhere in the world, a U.S. consulting group says, highlighting the lack of access to safe tap water.

The Beverage Marketing Corp. says annual per person consumption of bottled water in Mexico is 61.8 gallons, compared to 30 gallons in the United States, Inter Press Service reports.

Although municipal water utilities in Mexico insist the tap water they provide is safe, widespread mistrust of its quality has fuelled the growing consumption of bottled water, the consulting group said.

Nathalie Seguin of the Freshwater Action Network of Mexico said "there are also doubts about the quality of bottled water."

"Besides, the production is unsustainable, with transnational corporations selling the water, which they obtain and package at low cost, at much higher prices," she told IPS.

A U.N. agency, the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, says while areas in northern Mexico along the U.S. border had high levels of access to safe water, some parts of central and southern Mexico had very poor access.

Mexico's National Water Commission says 9.7 percent of the Mexican population lacks access to piped water and 13.6 percent to sanitation.

In July, the U.N. General Assembly declared safe drinking water and sanitation are human rights essential to the full enjoyment of life and all other human rights.

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