India // Health //

What about the water?


One of the chief concerns of many prospective visitors to India is whether the water is safe to drink. To put it simply, it isn’t, even though you might see locals drinking it freely. Bottled water, available in all but the most remote places, is a much safer bet, though it has a major drawback – namely the plastic pollution it causes. Visualize the size of the pile you’d leave behind you after getting through a couple of bottles per day, imagine that multiplied by millions and you have something along the lines of the amount of non-biodegradable landfill waste generated each year by tourists alone.

The best solution from the point of view of your health and the environment is to purify your own water. Chemical sterilization using chlorine is completely effective, fast and inexpensive, and you can remove the nasty taste it leaves with neutralizing tablets or lemon juice.

Alternatively, invest in some kind of purifying filter incorporating chemical sterilization to kill even the smallest viruses. An ever-increasing range of compact, lightweight products are available these days through outdoor shops and large pharmacies, but pregnant women or those with thyroid problems should check that iodine isn’t used as the chemical sterilizer.

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