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How does the bottling phenomenon impact on the fundamental value of access to water? It influences the way people drink and affects their possibility to access the resource, either economically or physically. This work analyses the role of law in the uprising of this phenomenon focusing on the implications on water distribution. Bottling regulations contain a tension in the legal conceptualisation of water as an essential resource and as a commodity. This tension encompasses the discourses on privatisation of public or common goods and is used to investigate the processes of accumulation by dispossession that it triggers. Through a comparative approach this work engages in a distributional analysis of the French, the Italian and the British legal regimes to unveil the hurdles of using property, a legal institution constructed around land, to govern water distribution.