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In which countries is it safe to drink tap water?

Water is essential for our daily lives.
In Japan, we take it for granted that it is safe to drink the water that flows out of our faucets at home, but what about in other countries?
Actually, Japan is among only 12 countries where it is safe to drink tap water.

• Source: Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism “2021 Status of Water Resources in Japan, p. 6, Ch. 7 International Water Resource Initiatives”

Why are there so many countries with unsafe tap water?

Why is it unsafe to drink tap water in most countries?
The following are two possible reasons.

  • Water sources are difficult to obtain in arid regions
    Some regions are so dry that rivers and lakes dry up and make it difficult to secure sources for public water supply systems.
  • Countries cannot build adequate infrastructure due to large land areas
    Supplying water throughout a large country like the United States or China is extremely costly.

Why is tap water safe in Japan?

Due to high rainfall levels, Japan is blessed with many rivers, lakes, and other potential water supply sources. Japan is also a small country that can relatively easily build infrastructure for supplying public water and other needs. However, to ensure safe and good-tasting water, Japan also purifies public drinking water and conducts regular water quality inspections before water is delivered to homes.