The old saying about the economics of water coolers is that in one sense they are indeed extremely economic and in another they are not. Let us try explaining that paradox about the economics of water coolers.
If everybody is drinking tap water than water coolers are not an economic proposition, just for their provision of cold water. Sure, people would like to have pure and cold water, but in straight hard cash terms, water coolers will obviously cost more than what you're already getting from the utility. If, however, like most people today the people in the office or even at home are drinking bottled water or filtered water, then water coolers really is a good economic proposition. Water coolers will be much cheaper to keep supplied than a refrigerator full of bottled water. It's the bulk thing you know, buying in quantity.
There is another side to modern water coolers which is that almost all new models also heat water as well as cool it. This might seem like an almost trivial saving of money but if it were really true that continually boiling kettles to make coffee and tea cost so little money, why are we continually told to only use a small amount of water in a kettle to save energy?
Over and above the savings in electricity and the purchase of bottled water, water coolers will in fact save a great deal of staff (or home) time as there is no hanging around waiting for the kettle to boil.