ARRIVING in Spain, exhausted from the flight and dehydrated from the shift in climate, the easiest option is to turn on the tap and enjoy a fresh glass of cold water.
However, the ease of tap water is often not tempting to many Brits, with regular reports of foreign stomachs unable to handle the local supply.
Fears over tap water are often misplaced, with the Spanish Tourist Office keen to emphasise the safety of drinking water and the stringent quality controls across the country.
Bottled water is not only an issue of cost and convience.
The environmental impact of buying bottled water raises questions over the commodifcation of this natural resource.
Across the world, 89 billion litres of water are bottled every year, creating 1.5 million tons of plastic waste.
The environment also suffers from the energy required to run this mega business, often diverting much-needed natural resources from food production.
Recent fears over the recycling of water bottles have recently been documented, with questions over the release of phthalate (a chemical used to make plastic bottles more flexible) when drinking bottles are used repeatedly.
So is the ongoing boom in bottled water sales really necessary? Taste tests have shown that people often find it difficult to tell the difference between tap water and the bottled alternative.
There is concern too over the lack of guarantees of where bottled water is sourced and the nature of the treatment process.
For more information on the quality of the water supply in your area, visit www.aeas.es.