After the National Administration of State Sanitary Works (OSE) decided to increase the levels of salinity in the mix of drinking water supplied by the shortage of reserves caused by the drought, the sale of bottled water it nearly doubled in the first week of May.
According to a survey by the consulting firm Id Retail, which consulted local businesses, a 93% more of water bottles in Montevideo in the first days of May, compared to the same period but last year.
However, the firm clarified that the investigation did not take into account sales by distributors to supermarket chains.
Although the data represents a real shot compared to the usual numbers, probably driven by the OSE measure, the growth in the segment of bottled water canisterswhere the percentage of year-on-year increase reached 176% this week.
The considerable increase could be influenced, first of all, by the change in the taste of waterwhich –from OSE anticipated– has a flavor more salty. But also, the warnings of the Ministry of Public Health (MSP) to severe hypertensive could have incentivized these numbers as well.
The increase in the salinity of the OSE water and the recommendations of the MSP
OSE’s decision was made to make the Bookings Faced with the critical situation of scarcity caused by the drought. This measure had already been taken by the board of directors of the state company at the end of last month, when the proportion of sodium in the fluid increased from 200 milligrams per liter to 280 mg/L, while from chloride they went from 280 mg/L to 450 mg/L. Now, last Thursday, the MSP authorized a new increase in the measures, which went to 400 mg/L and 700 mg/L respectively.
“They are not values that affect health. Sodium and chlorine are values that in our country are recommended up to a certain value, but not precisely because they affect health, but because they actually affect the conditions called electrical organs: that is, the taste, smell, or color that may have water,” said Minister Karina Rando when announcing it.
Although from the portfolio that Rando directs they ratified that water is “totally safe” to consumerecommended to severe hypertensive that their blood pressure controls be carried out “more frequently” and, if they can do so, consume bottled mineral water. In addition, they recommended consulting a doctor before the appearance of changes in pressure.
The warning was also for those with kidney failure. Both for them and for those with high blood pressure, the chief commented: “These patients have a restriction in salt intake and we are adding a little salt. If we take into account that they consume approximately 2.5 grams or 3 grams of salt per day and we add 0.4 grams or 0.5 grams could be significant.”