Tanyaradzwa Chigonda, Tendekai Rusena


There has been a rapid growth of the bottled drinking water industry in Zimbabwe in the past two decades. However, despite such a phenomenal growth, there have been no studies to systematically analyse the characteristics and implications of the bottled drinking water industry in the country. This study, therefore, assesses the rapid growth of the bottled water industry in Zimbabwe with a particular focus on Harare, the capital. The specific objectives of the study were: to examine factors behind the bottled drinking water boom; to identify any issues in the country’s bottled drinking water industry; and, to suggest recommendations based on the study findings. Primary data for the study were obtained through a questionnaire, structured interviews, observation and chemical analysis of sampled bottled drinking water brands. The study identified various reasons behind the bottled water boom in Harare, including declining municipal tap water quality amid rapidly rising water demand. The study also uncovered various issues in the country’s bottled water industry, including bottled drinking water quality concerns and high bottled drinking water costs. The above issues have arisen largely due to an absence of a robust and comprehensive institutional framework to govern the rapidly expanding bottled water industry in Zimbabwe. The study recommends the setting up of a clear-cut bottled drinking water policy framework, as a matter of urgency, to enable an effective and sustainable contribution of bottled drinking water in meeting rising water demand in the country.


Article visualizations:

Hit counter



bottled drinking water, urban water supply, potable water, water demand, water quality, chemical water analysis, Harare

Full Text:



AMCOW, 2011. Water supply and sanitation in Zimbabwe: turning finance into

services for 2015 and beyond. An AMCOW Country Status Overview, African

Ministers’ Council on Water.

Cech, T.V., 2003. Principles of water resources: History, development, management, and policy. John Wiley and Sons, New York.

Central Statistical Office, 2012. Zimbabwe census, 2012: preliminary report. Central

Statistical Office, Harare.

Chigonda, T. 2011. Thirst in the midst of the twin lakes: A quest for understanding Norton’s ironical water woes. Journal of Sustainable Development in Africa 13(1): 295-303.

Gleick, P.H. 1996. Basic water requirements for human activities: meeting basic needs. Water International, 21(2), 83-92.

Kahrl, W.L. 1982. Water and power. University of California Press, Berkeley, CA.

Opel, A. 1999. Constructing purity: Bottled water and the commodification of nature. The Journal of American Culture 22(4): 67-76.

Robins, P., Hintz, J. and Moore, S.A. 2010. Environment and society: A critical introduction. Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford.

Royte, E. 2008. Bottlemania: How water went on sale and why we bought it. Bloomsbury USA, New York.

Senior, D.A.G. and Dege, N. (Eds.) 2005. Technology of bottled water. Wiley-Blackwell, New York.

The Herald. 16 February, 2009. Harare water sources condemned: WHO experts call for urgent remedial action. ZimPapers Group, Harare.

Wilk, R. 2006. Bottled water: The pure commodity in the age of branding. Journal of Consumer Culture 6(3): 303-325.

World Health Organization. 2003. pH in Drinking-water: Background document for development of WHO guidelines for drinking-water quality. World Health Organization, Geneva.


Copyright (c) 2019 Tanyaradzwa Chigonda, Tendekai Rusena

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

The research works published in this journal are free to be accessed. They can be shared (copied and redistributed in any medium or format) and\or adapted (remixed, transformed, and built upon the material for any purpose, commercially and\or not commercially) under the following terms: attribution (appropriate credit must be given indicating original authors, research work name and publication name mentioning if changes were made) and without adding additional restrictions (without restricting others from doing anything the actual license permits). Authors retain the full copyright of their published research works and cannot revoke these freedoms as long as the license terms are followed.

Copyright © 2016 - 2023. European Journal Of Social Sciences Studies (ISSN 2501-8590) is a registered trademark of Open Access Publishing Group. All rights reserved.

This journal is a serial publication uniquely identified by an International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) serial number certificate issued by Romanian National Library. All the research works are uniquely identified by a CrossRef DOI digital object identifier supplied by indexing and repository platforms. All the research works published on this journal are meeting the Open Access Publishing requirements and standards formulated by Budapest Open Access Initiative (2002), the Bethesda Statement on Open Access Publishing (2003) and  Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities (2003) and can be freely accessed, shared, modified, distributed and used in educational, commercial and non-commercial purposes under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Copyrights of the published research works are retained by authors.


Hit counter