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Sunday 12 May 2019

natural resources

The price of water

The newest, hippest mineral water costs 7,500 times as much as tap water in Delhi. This is not necessarily a good thing for those who live there

By chris newell and giles whittell

India gets more water than it needs, mostly from Himalayan meltwater and the monsoon. Even so it’s in the grip of a deep and worsening water crisis, the MIT Technology Review reported this week. Six hundred million people face water shortages. Most of the country’s supply is contaminated and half a billion could have no access to drinking water by 2030.

One reason for the shortages is that small farmers waste so much water, perhaps because they pay virtually nothing for it. The price of water varies wildly from place to place and tap to bottle. As far as we could tell, India’s is the cheapest in the world:

Michael Burry, the investor who made a fortune shorting sub-prime mortgage derivates in 2008, has since focused on water. For the time being it looks as if he would do better buying up Alpine glaciers than Himalayan ones.

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