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Why does bottled water cost so much?

Published: Saturday, Aug. 1 2015 4:23 p.m. MDT

A new video series by The Atlantic explores the economy A new video series by The Atlantic explores the economy "in plain English." (Shutterstock)

It makes up 60 to 70 percent of our body mass, and roughly 70 percent of the Earth's surface is covered by it. If water is so necessary, and so common, then why is it so expensive when it comes in a bottle?

A new video series by The Atlantic called "Economics in Plain English" explores the phenomenon of high-priced bottled water. Hosted by Derek Thompson, a business editor for theatlantic.com, the video explores the costs of packaging, shipping and advertising the world’s most natural drink.

“If a family went through their day using bottled water instead of tap water, their monthly water bill could be as much as $9,000 dollars,” Thompson explains in the video.

So why can companies charge so much for a product Americans encounter in abundance every day?

“The answer is quite simple,” Thompson said. “You’re willing to pay for it.”

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