'Raw' Water Is Insulting

'Raw' Water Is Insulting
AP Photo/Felipe Dana
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In 2015, 844 million people lacked access to even a basic drinking water service. These people, almost entirely from developing areas in Africa and Asia, are forced to play roulette by drinking water potentially contaminated with bacteria and viruses that cause diseases like diarrhea, cholera, dysentery, typhoid, and polio, as well as a variety of parasitic infections. Globally, a half million people die each year from diarrhea contracted via contaminated drinking water, many of them children. Another 240 million suffer from schistosomiasis, a parasitic infestation of flatworms originating from snail feces.

Here in the United States, we generally don't have to worry about waterborne illness. That's because our tap-water travels through a rigorous system of mechanical filtration and chemical treatment which expunges contaminants, resulting in H2O that's clean, refreshing, and among the safest in the world.

Yet the founders of Live Water and other purveyors of the upstart "raw" water movement seek to offer wealthy Americans a way to avoid this unequivocally salubrious system. They believe that "raw" untreated water harvested from streams and springs is much healthier.

Mukhande Singh, the apparently naive founder of Live Water, admits he only recently found out that water is irradiated and treated. This profound ignorance, no-doubt exacerbated by a privileged upbringing, leads him to say brainless things like this:

“Tap water? You’re drinking toilet water with birth control drugs in them,” he told the New York Times. “Chloramine, and on top of that they’re putting in fluoride. Call me a conspiracy theorist, but it’s a mind-control drug that has no benefit to our dental health.”

He believes that real water should expire, and proudly declares that his company's offering turns green after one "lunar cycle."

"It's the kind of water we're biologically adapted to," one of his compatriots insists.


Tell that to a mother with a child whose belly is distended due to waterborne parasitic infection (pictured to the left).

The simple fact is that animals poop in even the purest springs, streams, and aquifers, spreading parasites and bacteria. Drinking raw water does not provide a "surge of energy and peacefulness," as Singh insists, it makes you prone to all sorts of diseases.

Raw water is insulting; insulting to the health of those who drink it, to the intelligence of those who consider it, and to the hundreds of millions of people around the world who yearn for treated water free from raw contamination.

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