An alternative to bottled drinking water, canned water for emergencies is sold by a few companies in the U.S. An excellent choice for earthquake or emergency kits.
During the Cold War, cans filled with water and lined with plastic bags were used as potential emergency drinks by the U.S. Civil Defense Program. Tin cans held water for ten years or more, longer than the shelf life of today’s plastic bottles.
Canned beverages and food withstand transfer between oxygen and unwanted flavor better than plastic. Therefore, cans are better for long-term emergency water storage.
Plain canned drinking water is hard to find in stores or even online. Amazon only has a few brands of drinking water in a can. The only other online stores with emergency water in cans specialize in survival and earthquake kits.
A few manufacturers now remove bacteria and air by using Nitrogen flush so their cans would last at least 30 years. Today, some companies offer water in cans that last up to 50 years.
Drinking water also comes in pouches and aluminum bottles, with pouches being the second most popular choice after plastic bottles for short-term emergency water storage. Long-term storage options for large families or workplaces may include water tanks and barrels.
Some companies send cans of water improvised at the last minute to people in emergency zones. Anheuser-Busch sent cans of water to victims of Hurricane Harvey in 2017.
How We Chose Our Ratings
We considered the following factors when deterring our rating for canned emergency drinking water:
Beverage industry publications have written about water in cans as a substitute packing option for years. Industry observers wonder if people will warm to the idea of water in cans because plastic bottles have been the standard for so long.
The fact that only a handful of companies are selling water in cans shows that it will be quite a while before the industry and the public get used to the idea.
Top 7 Best Brands of Water Stored in Cans
We only found three brands of water specifically sold in cans for emergency purposes, and one brand that sells water in cans for charity. There are canned spring water brands, but the water contained in these cans has nutrients and sodium while the emergency brands are mineral free.
While the fancier spring water brands aren't specifically designed for emergency purposes, they are BPA-free and will last longer in storage than bottled water, so we have represented those brands here for people who have short-term storage needs.
Blue Can Premium Emergency Drinking Water
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Blue Can Premium Emergency Drinking Water is the most popular canned drinking water. It lasts 50 years, even when stored in intense heat.
This water is tested by an FDA certified lab, and guaranteed to withstand temperatures up to 140 degrees and down to 33 degrees Fahrenheit. Blue Can water is fresh-tasting and clean, like filtered water, according to people who have consumed it.
Blue Can's ecologically-safe packaging has no BPA, chlorine or fluoride. The inclusion of BPA in plastic bottle manufacturing is one of the complaints people have about long-term storage of bottled water. Blue Can's hermetically sealed and coated with a BPA-free substance which prevents the water from touching metal.
Blue Can comes in 6, 12 or 48 can packs.
To prepare the water to last 50 years, it goes through dual reverse osmosis, multi-stage filtering, ozone and UV light disinfection and micron traps. Blue Can water will hydrate you and keep you alive, but it has no nutrient value.
Many reviewers complain that the cans don’t survive freezing temperature and burst open, and caution against using Blue Can if you live in an environment prone to extreme cold.
One person left a can outside in winter weather and wrote that although the water froze when the temperature reached 32 degrees, the can didn't burst until the temperature was five degrees below zero. Ideally, this product should be stored at between 70 and 75 degrees.
Theoretically, you could use this product in non-emergency situations, but it is quite expensive for distilled water due to the filtering and canning process.
Water in Cans 4 Kids
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We’ve included Canned Water 4 Kids on this list because it is one of the few canned waters on Amazon.com. It is not made explicitly for emergencies, but since the water is stored in cans, it will last longer than bottled water.
This water has no added minerals or flavors; it is 100% filtered, purified drinking water.
It has no added preservatives, sodium, sugar, calories and is 100% natural.
CW4K donates 95 percent of the money from sales of its water to fund programs that clean and bring water to children in areas without drinkable water.
The cans are recyclable unlike plastic bottles so that you will be contributing to a cleaner environment as well as clean drinking water for children.
The organization’s charitable approach is a major reason many people buy their product, but the water is fresh, good-tasting, and 100% pure. The organization’s website features many of the charitable projects the company has sponsored from purchases of water in cans.
CW4K is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Any donation you make is tax-deductible.
The company has sent water to Flint, Michigan, helped the American Red Cross sends aid to Puerto Rico, and helped build wells in Africa. The company is located in Sussex, Wisconsin.
These cans are filled with water but look just like soda cans. CW4K water is sold in two versions - lightly carbonated and non-carbonated, regular drinking water. If you buy non-carbonated drinking water, it's fun to open CW4K cans, as it seems they'll spray liquid all over the immediate area.
The non-carbonated water is also available in aluminum bottles. The company offers the cans to schools, businesses and vending machine companies. CW4K also works with companies and organizations to sponsor charity events.
This product provides clean, fresh drinking water for your family in daily or emergency situations, and you’ll be doing something good for other kids.
Alka Power Emergency Drinking Water in Cans
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Alka Power water comes in BPA-free cans and is guaranteed to last for 30 years.
You can find this brand of emergency water on Amazon.com in sizes suitable for hospitals, government agencies or schools. The company's website states that the emergency drinking water they produce is designed for use in large institutions.
This brand is also featured on survival and emergency kit websites. The ReadyStore has a seven-day supply for a reasonable price.
This emergency water is canned in the U.S.A. and has a secure pH level. The can will resist crushing and is 100 percent recyclable. A few satisfied users praise the company's customer service and have re-ordered the product.
The company also sells alkaline water in bottles at Whole Foods, Gelson’s and other natural foods markets.
Alka Power has a 9/10 pH level for healthier hydration. All the food you eat and soda you drink on a daily basis may give you a pH balance that leads to sickness. Drinking alkaline water will help restore a normal pH balance.
This alkaline water contains magnesium, potassium and sodium traces, plus ionic calcium.
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Augason Farms NEW Ultra Purified 50 Year Water gives you and your loved ones the ultimate in water security. It goes through an eight-stage ultra-purification process and is contained in easy-to-store, easy-to-access aluminum cans.
Why is this ideal for emergency preparedness? For the same reasons over 180 billion aluminum cans are used each year:No leaching,BPA-free, polymer-based epoxy coating prevents interaction of aluminum ions with beverage,impermeable to gasses, vapors, and light,100% protection from oxygen, light, moisture, and other contaminants. Holds up to 250 pounds of direct weight. Rust proof and resistant to corrosion. Stands up to hot and cold temps and recyclable.
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Perrier Lime offers natural spring and sparkling water in cans to combat ocean pollution from plastic bottles. It is designed for mostly environmental safety purposes, but you can use it for emergencies.
Perrier Lime contains natural lime flavour and other natural flavorsLow mineral contentContains no juice0 calories per can.
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Noah’s Spring Water comes in tall, sleek cans. It has no preservatives or sweeteners – it’s 100% pure spring water. It has a high magnesium content, higher than the other canned spring waters on this list.
It is one of the few canned, unflavored spring waters available on Amazon, and it comes in carbonated and still versions. However, since it's stored in a BPA-free aluminum can, it will be safer to drink in an emergency than many plastic bottled water brands and will last longer.
Noah’s has mineral and sparkling water flavors in a can, but we recommend natural water if you plan to store this brand for emergencies.
Some reviewers wrote that the magnesium in the water helps them relax. The magnesium content may or may not matter to you if you need to drink the water in an emergency, but it is a plus.
Emergency Essentials Drinking Water in Cans
You can store this emergency water for at least 30 years, according to Amazon sellers.
The photos of the cans that hold this drinking water don’t indicate any particular manufacturer, but the water is sold on Amazon by sellers such as ReadyAmerica.
You’ll need a can opener to open this canned emergency water, as it lacks a pull top. The cans dent easily, but that may be to allow expansion if water freezes. The vacuum sealing process during manufacturing may also cause the cans to dent.
Reviews are mixed for this generic-looking brand. One person complained that the can rusted after four years, but another customer wrote that his cans were still fine after five years. One person praised the company's customer service and wrote that he had re-ordered several times.
One video reviewer stated that the water had a metallic taste to it. A few people expressed apprehension about the dented cans they received and wondered if the water was safe to drink.
As you can see from our list, mainstream canned water brands are few and far between. Aside from Blue Can, which is available on Amazon.com, you’ll need to go to survival sites or retail stores to find canned water.
Most water used for survival purposes comes in plastic bottles and lasts up to seven years. Unless a disaster strikes and you use the water, you’ll need to replace the bottles every few years. When you buy cans, you store them and forget them. There’s no need to check and replace cans every few years like bottles.
Cans may be easier to store and use for single people and couples. If you have a small apartment or take a lot of road trips, they are also handier than plastic water bottles if an emergency occurs.
Add water in cans to your list if you want to set up your emergency survival kit and forget it. Most user reviews of the few major emergency canned drinking water brands are positive, so you don’t need to worry about having clean, drinkable water for your family when disaster strikes if you choose this option.