Most of us take our water for granted--we turn on the tap and sparkling clean water flows out. However, 844 million people in the world do not have access to clean water, and even in California, communities like Porterville and Central Valley have been plagued with water quality issues.

Local, federal and international governments and even your local water company are working hard to ensure we all have access to high-quality water. Together we’re making great strides to bring reliable access to water to every corner of the world.

But some countries are also extremely fortunate to have access to the best water in the world. Some of that is just luck, countries with high annual rainfall and certain natural features tend to have great water. But water treatment standards of the highest order, also play a role in ensuring every glass is delicious.


Image Source: World Health Organization

Here are three countries rated as having the best water quality in the world by organizations such as the World Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

1) Switzerland

Switzerland is repeatedly recognized as a country with the best quality tap water in the world. The country has strict water treatment standards and superior natural resources with an average rainfall per year of 60.5 inches. In fact, 80% of the drinking water comes from natural springs and groundwater. So if you’re visiting this beautiful country, consider relaxing with a delicious glass of tap water. Not to mention all of the delicious cups of coffee, tea, and pints of beer you can enjoy, all made with this great local water.

2) New Zealand

New Zealand is famous for more than hobbits and beautiful landscapes. The country has strict water quality standards set by its Ministry of Health. In 1995, New Zealand set a goal of reaching 95% compliance with its bacterial and chemical compliance standards for drinking water. The 2015-2016 Annual Drinking Water Report shows that 97.6% of its drinking water met bacteriological standards and 98.4% met chemical standards.

3) Norway

Norway has made significant strides in water quality in the last 20 to 30 years. Like the United States, Norway suffered deteriorating and aging water infrastructure. Since 2001, the Norwegian Institute of Public Health and water suppliers have made significant strides in infrastructure and 9 out of 10 Norwegian residents receive water from a waterworks monitored by the government.

To learn about the high-quality water supplied to SJW customers, please read our latest Annual Water Quality Report