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It’s Shit You Drink: Back-Alley Indian Water Bottlers

We’re generally trusting souls over here in our U.S. ivory tower but elsewhere in the world, trust not when it comes to  your drinking water supply.

In the memorably titled story “It’s Shit You Drink in Bottled Water,” The Times of India Amedabad reports on widespread scamming there in the packaged water business with nauseating details that have us squirming here in suburbia. (This is nothing new in India.)

Laws governing packaged water from the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) are stringent and include requirements that every bottle cap be wrapped with a coloured plastic seal with batch number and date of manufacture. But law does not equal compliance and dozens of back-alley bottlers fake the ISI marks and seals on dirty bottles filled under filthy conditions.

(Hmmm. That Plywood Water seems a little less amusing.)

If that seems bad, you could have a look at something badder, like this photo by Engineers without Borders from Uganda, contrasting bottled water against a sample of the local drinking supply.

Before we get carried away bellyaching about the evils of bottled water, it’s helpful to have a look at this bagged drinking water from Ghana. I suppose this is slightly more enviro-friendly than bottles! But I highly doubt that those in Uganda lucky enough to have access to it are congratulating themselves on how green they are.

We Ivory Tower dwellers have much to be grateful for as we “celebrate” Drinking Water Week. Maybe now would be a good time for us count our blessings and cut a check to our favorite water charity.)