English

Abstract  

Water is essential in an individual’s daily life, especially for drinking purpose. An increase of demand of drinking bottled water in the Palestinian markets has been observed. Accordingly, the number of bottled water companies has increased to meet the needs of the consumers. The growing rates in the demand of bottled water are attributed to several reasons, including the belief of Palestinian citizens that bottled drinking water might be of a higher quality than the public drinking water, its availability in the Palestinian markets at acceptable prices as well as the domination over the Palestinian water resources by the Israeli occupation. The study objective is to evaluate the perceptions of Birzeit University students of the quality of bottled water marketed in the West Bank and its impact on the humans and the environment. In the first part of the study, data of different quality parameters (chemical and physical) of bottled water samples from different brands available in the Palestinian local market were obtained from the records of the Central Public Health Laboratories (CPHL) of the Palestinian Ministry of Health (MoH) in West Bank from year 2014 to 2017. The chemical and physical tests’ results given by the CPHL/MoH included pH, total dissolved solids (TDS), nitrate and fluoride. The results showed that 7.3% and 7.7% of the pH and nitrate measurements respectively for the tested samples were out of the Maximum Allowable Concentration (MAC) according to Palestine Standards Institution (PSI) (2005). The TDS and fluoride measurements were within the MAC. The second part of the study discussed the perceptions of Birzeit University students of the quality of bottled water and its impact on the humans and the environment. A specifically questionnaire was designed as a tool for collecting data from a statistically representative sample of Birzeit University students. The analysis of the data showed that the factors that affect the perception of the students are mainly the educational year at the university, the income, the family size and the residence type.