In a way yes! You are paying both for the container and the brand name that guarantees your safety while drinking the water bottle. While water itself is basically free, there are a lot of processes and ways that water can be made drinkable.
A lot of water bottle companies claims that their way of processing water into drinkable ones are the safest and the best way but unfortunately consumers have no way of knowing which one is better. The more consumers believe that one product is better than the other, the more that product can increase their price because the demand will likely increase.
Aside from that there are also others who claims that they added a little something in their water bottles like electrolytes, which entices more people to buy the product because of it's added benefits.
Yes, water is water and we pay for the name.
While of course there may be different standards for the water itself, for the bottling of the water, for the stability of the bottle, the majority of bottled water is simple drinking water. Sometimes it comes from springs and wells, sometimes it even is made from tap water. Imagine: tap water is carbonated, filled in bottles and sold.
Stories from Around Springs
One of the many springs that Aqua exploits and sucks up to this day is the Kubang spring located in the village of Kubang Jaya, Babakan Pari village which is located at the foot of Mount Salak, northern Sukabumi.
Springs in Kubang have been exploited by Aqua since around 1992. Kubang spring area, which was previously an agricultural area, was later converted by Aqua into an area like a forest that is not allowed by local residents. Around the Kubang spring area, Aqua is lined with walls and is guarded by rented security officers for 24 hours a day. No one is allowed to enter the area without a permit signed by the head of the Aqua Group headquarters in Jakarta.
Initially the water exploited by Aqua is surface water, which is water that comes out directly from a spring without being drilled. But in 1994, Aqua began exploiting underground water by digging waterways with high pressure drilling machines.
Since the water in the Kubang spring was drained on a large scale by Aqua, many changes were felt by the surrounding residents. The most noticeable is the decline in the quality and quantity of water resources in the village, and this has a negative impact on the lives of the villagers themselves. The decrease in the carrying capacity of water is evident from the emergence of problems related to the utilization of water resources at the community level since the Kubang spring was controlled by Aqua. One of the problems is the lack of availability of clean water for daily household consumption including water for drinking, cooking, washing, bathing and others. This problem can be seen from the conditions of the wells owned by citizens which are the source of fulfillment of daily clean water needs. Now, the maximum water level of the well owned by most residents is only an inch or about 15 cm. Even some wells have become completely dry. Whereas before Aqua controlled the water there, the well water level usually reached 1-2 meters. In the past, just by digging wells 8-10 meters deep, the need for clean water for everyday was very fulfilled. Now, residents need to dig up to more than 15-17 meters to get clean water. In the past, residents did not need a pump machine to suck water to get out of the ground, now in a single suction using a pump, water is only able to supply 1 tub of water and after that the well is immediately dry. Even in some villages, if it doesn't rain in just a month, the well becomes completely dry. Whereas in the past, when the dry season entered the 6th month did not make well water dry.
Another problem is the lack of water for agricultural irrigation needs. This problem was experienced by farmers from almost all villages in the Babakan Pari village. At present the farmers in several villages are fighting over water because of the lack of water. Even some rice fields don't get water and rely on water from rainwater only. As a result, many rice fields are drought in the dry season and of course this causes serious economic problems for farmers.
The same thing happened in Polanharjo, Klaten Regency, Central Java. Aqua exploited water from a large number of springs in Klaten District since 2002. Similar to what happened in Babakan Pari village, the majority of residents in the area also supported their lives from agriculture. Because the water debit has dropped dramatically since Aqua operated there, farmers are now forced to rent pumps to meet the irrigation needs of their fields. For daily needs, residents must buy water from water tanks at high prices because their wells have started to dry due to the massive "pumping" carried out by Aqua.
Well water is definitely not water and let me tell you the reason why, in actual sense water is better than others because of the process of purification, the treatment it goes through in several bottling water companies are very different and the individual purification process are more costlier than the other.
Another thing is the packaging of the company, for example, the kinds of people that purchase let's say a particular kind of bottle water may be very rich individuals and as a result of this the company may increase the price of their bottle water because of their rich consumer, while others may not be so expensive because they're fighting to establish their brand.
Name is another thing. If a bottling company has a more recognized name than other bottling companies selling the same composite water produce, this will definitely make the price differ