Water bottling companies are getting our very best water for free, from deep, uncontaminated bores, Newsroom reveals. Meanwhile, a large and growing number of us get nitrate-contaminated drinking water through municipal supplies. More than a million New Zealanders are drinking tap water with nitrate concentrations – which has been linked to bowel cancer – higher than the highest concentration in tested bottled water samples. At the same time, Kiwis pay $140 million a year for bottled water no one owns, and another $24m worth is exported.