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Sale of bottled water surges in Pakistan due to drinking water shortage

Updated:2012-02-27 14:12:00source:http://en.sbwexpo.comClick:
Core prompt: Sale of bottled water surges in Pakistan due to drinking water shortage
ISLAMABAD, Feb 22 (Xinhua) --The unavailability of safe and hygienic drinking water has increased the sale of bottled water many times in Pakistan, local media reported on Wednesday.
According to a survey, as many as 60 million Pakistanis out of a population of 180 million do not have access to the safe drinking water.
With the passage of time, the awareness about the waterborne diseases has risen among the public which became the major cause to boost the bottled water industry in the country.
Currently, around 69 brands, including some fake and suspicious ones, are being sold in Pakistani markets, local newspaper Daily Times reported.
A large number of people living the cities prefer bottled water due to poor quality of drinking water supplied by the civic authorities.
The Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR) has recently declared that 16 of these 69 brands of bottled water are unsafe.
According to sources in Pakistan Standard and Quality Control Authority (PSQCA), bottled water is usually packed in Polyethylene terephthalate (PET), which requires a significant amount of energy and precautions to produce.
Another study showed that a high percentage of bottled water contained in plastic containers was polluted with estrogenic chemicals.
Seeing the rise in the usage of bottled water, some groups of people have started campaign against it and urged government to manage a healthy and trustworthy system to supply healthy tap water to the masses.
The representatives of anti-bottled water campaigns and organisations, such as Corporate Accountability International, believe that bottled water is no better than tap water, and emphasizes the harmful environmental "side effects" of disposable plastic bottles.
But the people related to the bottled water industry argued that bottled water carries reduced amounts of copper, lead and other metal contaminants, since it does not run through the plumbing pipes, whereas tap water is exposed to metal corrosion.
Due to contaminated water being widespread, Pakistanis started installing filtration plants for domestic and business purposes in the mid-1990s.
According to sources in the PCRWR, many of the mineral water companies are selling contaminated water.
They believe that the bottled water business developed many times because the quality of drinking water was continuously deteriorating due to biological contamination from human waste, chemical pollutants from industries and agricultural inputs.
Pakistani government, during last five years under safe water project, successfully installed thousands of water cleaning units in urban residential areas but majority of them became unusable after some time due to lack of care and maintenance.
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