Bottled water distributed to residents during floods in the UK's Midlands, rose to the same amount as the entire UK bottled water market 30 years ago, according to Zenith International.

The food and drink consultancy said today (21 January) that, last summer, 30m litres of bottled water were distributed, the same as the total distribution in the UK market during 1980.

Zenith chairman Richard Hall said: "Bottled water has been a huge success story because of its convenience and health benefits. Thirty years ago, it would have been impossible for bottled water to meet this extra demand. Fortunately, although climate change was the cause of the problem, bottled water has a very low carbon footprint since all bottles are 100% recyclable and much of the rescue relief was provided locally."

The bottled water market in the UK has grown to over 2bn litres, half of which is consumed 'on-the-go' due to the increasingly busy lifestyles of consumers, the consultancy said.

Zenith market intelligence director Gary Roethenbaugh added: "In 2006, one in 30 households experienced an interruption in their tap water supplies across the country, so the availability of bottled water is becoming increasingly important. The other advantages, of course, are that you know exactly where a natural mineral or spring water has come from and it will not have been treated chemically in any way."