As VAT hikes up bottled water prices, Czechia taps into a cheaper alternative

As higher prices for soft drinks and bottled water take effect, Czechia's high-quality tap water is an affordable and healthy thirst quencher.

Thomas Smith

Written by Thomas Smith Published on 19.02.2024 11:28:00 (updated on 19.02.2024) Reading time: 1 minute

Soft drinks and bottled water prices are on the up in Czechia so far this year – though their consumption is falling. A 2024 increase in value-added tax (VAT) on soft drinks and bottled water will continue the trend of Czechs using tap water to quench their thirst, for both price and quality reasons.

Becoming even more expensive

The VAT rise on soft drinks (including water) – from 15 to 21 percent – caused their prices to increase by about 4 percent. Soft drinks manufacturers have also bumped their prices due to higher operational and production costs in the past 12 months (such as for plastics, transport, energy, and raw materials).

The current prices for mineral water show an average increase of 13 haléř (pennies) from December to January, with the average price per liter now sitting at CZK 10.55.

Overall, statistics show that the consumption of purchased soft drinks in the Czech Republic has decreased by 14 percent since 2012, Czech media outlet ČT24 writes.

High-quality water at home

Each person in the Czech Republic consumes an average of 230 liters of water per year, with the vast majority supplied by public water systems. Experts say tap water quality in Czechia is among “the best in the world.” U.S. Yale University's 2022 Environmental Performance Index shows that Czechia has the 34th best water quality globally. 

People across Czechia, unfortunately, are also paying more for their water at home in 2024. Waterworks operators hiked up their costs by an average of about 12 percent at the turn of the year due to higher operational costs. This year, Praguers will pay around CZK 145 to CZK 150 per cubic meter, from about CZK 129 previously. 

This map from the Waterworks and Sewerage Industry Association displays how good water quality is in different Prague regions.

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