Water, a compound of Hydrogen and Oxygen, is a precious natural gift which is essential for the survival of everything on earth. Potable water for human consumption should be free from undesirable impurities. The water available from untreated sources such as well, boreholes and natural springs is generally not safe for drinking. Thus, it is necessary to purify the water and supply it under hygienic conditions for human consumption. As the name implies, mineral water is the purified water fortified with requisite amount of minerals such as barium, iron, manganese and other mineral salts which can be absorbed by human body. The mineral water / packaged drinking water should be manufactured and packed under hygienic conditions, in properly washed and cleaned bottles, in sterilized conditions as specified under IS 14543 and IS 13428.
Water shortage and health awareness is driving bottled water consumption in India. As in 2011, the Indian market is estimated at about Rs.6,000 crore and is growing at whopping rate of 25 per cent per annum. By 2020, it will reach an astounding Rs.20,000 crore. According to a national-level study, there are more than 200 bottled water brands in India and among them nearly 80 per cent are local brands catering to consumers within their 60 km operational area. While India ranks in the top 10 largest bottled water consumers in the world, its per capita consumption of bottled water is estimated to be half-a-litre only which is comparatively lower than the global average of 24 litres.
Growth in sales of packaged drinking water is surpassing all alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages in India.