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July 18, 2008

Heck, I used to drink straight from the faucet and never got sick of anything related to water-borne diseases. In those days, it never occurred in my mind I would be buying bottled water, ever; why should one for something that should be free? I thought the pioneers of the business were fools and their customers snotty, overacting health-conscious freaks. Then one day, water coming out from the MWSS taps smelled rotten, within two days yellowish, then brackish the next day. They began as rare accidents of busted pipes before they became more and more frequent. Bottled water businesses took their cue and what a boom followed. Confidence on public water systems never recovered since, assuming MWSS and their kind ever intended to recover it, by the way. I suspected a conspiracy between MWSS and the bottled water companies. I still feel that way. If anything though, it generated jobs for thousands.

On a lighter vein, there’s the story of young kids on hiking stopping by a house in the middle of a remote farm. Thirsty, they asked for water. The woman there dutifully scooped water from an old well in the backyard. When they saw where the water was coming from, they said goodbye frantically. The woman wondered why.

THE ECONOMIST: Bottled or tap?

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