A Clarification of My Position on Bottled Water

Categories: In the News.

emergency bottled water
One of my core recommendations for being prepared for a water emergency is to have an adequate supply of bottled water on hand. Bottled water is very important, for reasons I will share. But every time I recommend bottled water I inevitably get some people who respond and proclaim that bottled water is the devil and I must be getting money from the bottled water industry for promoting them. I also hear from people who don’t like their water coming in contact with plastic, and there are other people who complain about the brands that I recommend.

I want to set the record straight and cut through any issues you may have with bottled water. And also, before we go any further I want to say that no, I don’t receive any money from the bottled water industry. So with that out of the way, here’s what you need to know.

In brief, I recommend that you store one gallon per day per person for at least fifteen days. I recommend the small, half-liter plastic bottles and my preference is AquaFina brand. To see my specific recommendations, go here.

Bottled water is quick, easy and reliable. It’s a great way to store water, distribute water and keep an inventory of how much water you have on hand. Bottled water is hugely important when you need to focus on urgent issues and you don’t have time to produce your own safe water. For example, let’s say there is a massive earthquake, roads are blocked and you have to get your children from the daycare center that is two miles away, while your husband has to help a neighbor who is injured. In such a scenario, you don’t even want to think about producing water. You just want to grab what you need so you can stay focused.

If an emergency strikes and our infrastructure fails, the rules of the game of life have suddenly changed. You MUST change your priorities and adapt to your new situation quickly, and if you don’t you will be putting your family’s lives at risk. Let me give you three examples…

  1. If the grocery store is stripped bare and your options for food at greatly limited, are you going to stick to buying only organic apples, or would you settle for regular apples?
  2. If there is a two hour wait for gasoline at your local gas station, are you going to insist on only buying premium octane gasoline, or would you settle for whatever octane you can get?
  3. For this third example, let’s say you are in India, amid the tremendous crowds of people who live in poverty and with minimal infrastructure. In this situation, are you going to stick to your guns and drink the water coming from the tap because bottled water is bad for the environment, or would you drink bottled water?

If you complain to me about what brand of water I recommend or if you insist that you don’t want to contribute to the environmental pollution of bottled water, or if you don’t want to use plastic, you are not properly adjusting your thinking to the reality of a life or death emergency situation. You are focused on 1st World problems. Think about Hurricane Katrina. The people of New Orleans were thrust into a situation in which the water was as bad as the worst 3rd World country.

I recommend AquaFina brand of bottled water, because it’s good water, they have good quality control procedures, it’s cheap and it’s widely available. You can use any well-known brand of bottled water though.

Last time I sent out an email recommending AquaFina, I received an article from someone that called AquaFina a scam because it’s just purified tap water. Ok, let’s get something straight. Water is water; the only difference between different types of water is the contaminants that are in the water. The water you are consuming now, may very well have been consumed by another person before. Yes, that means that it went into their body and was expelled through sweat, urine or feces – and now you are drinking it! In fact, depending upon where you live, the water in your body could have been in someone else’s body last week.

But that’s Ok, because that is how our world works. Water circulates. It’s constantly in motion. What you need to be concerned with is, “is the water safe and pure?”

People who call bottled water a scam because it’s just purified tap water don’t know anything about water.

Plastic is good for our purpose. We want to have a supply of safe, high-purity water for a long time – and plastic does a good job at this. Yes, high-quality glass would be the most inert material for coming in contact with your water, but glass is completely impractical for an emergency situation because it’s heavy and surprise, it breaks! Plastic bottles are the way to go for an emergency.

Understand that my recommendations are based on what you should do in an emergency situation. For your everyday life you can be concerned about the environment and potential endocrine disrupters from plastic, but in an emergency you need to keep your priorities straight.

Yes, bottled water should be a key part of your preparedness plans.

Yes, AquaFina is a good brand for our purposes, but by all means choose your favorite brand of bottled water.

No, bottled water is not a complete solution for being prepared. You also need a means to purify your own water. The Survival Still is the best option for purifying potentially dangerously contaminated water.

I hope this article was helpful for you. Leave comment below if you have questions.


  1. Chuck Voigtsberger

    Well said, Glenn. Some common sense comments about the realities of emergency situations.

    You are severely dehydrated. Here is El Cheap bottled water in a plastic bottle. “No, I’m not going to drink it because it is the wrong PET Number. It might lead to any number of disorders twenty years from now.”

    Yeah, but if you don’t drink it, you won’t have to worry about twenty years from now. You will be dead, dead, dead tomorrow.

    You don’t want to drink it? Fine. That’s more for me and my family. I’ll worry about twenty years from now if we all make it that far. In the mean time, glug, glug, glug.

  2. Dorothy Shumans

    Thank You Glenn for this thorough explanation. It was very helpful. I just received my Survival Still.
    Dorothy Shumans

  3. Mike

    Excellent, I like the way you stick to your guns. My wife and I teach survival preparedness and people are stuck in the camp out mode instead of emergency type.

  4. I appreciate the information on bottled water. I agree that it is super important to store bottled water, this can help you when you are in a time of need and water isn’t available otherwise. My brother is trying to get his emergency preparedness kit going and he isn’t sure what to put in there or how much to put in there, I will be sure to share this information with him.

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