The Consumer Defense Unit was already doing this monitoring for sparkling water. Due to the exponential increase in demand, it will also incorporate table water.
The Consumer Defense Unit of the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF) will begin to publish a weekly price comparison of bottled still water in Uruguay, with the objective that the population can monitor the values in the midst of the water crisis that affects the country and that has increased the demand for this product.
He Consumer Price Information System (SIPC) since 2016, on a daily basis, the prices of sparkling table water in presentations of 2.25 to 2.5 liters. The brands included are Matutina, Nativa and Salus, and it also divides the values collected by zones: Montevideo, the Metropolitan area and the interior.
However, the government still did not carry out the same survey for bottled water without gas, something that the context of water deficit -which affects, above all, the metropolitan area due to the historical downspout of the dam of Severine Pass— forced to change. Therefore, in the next few days will incorporate the price comparison of this variety of the product which, in recent weeks, has become a fundamental resource for Uruguayans.
The government is already thinking about importing
The lack of drinking water and the increase in salinity in the liquid that OSE distributes has led many people to resort to bottled water. The exponential and disproportionate increase in demand even broke the stock of some brands, although it was mainly due to a “mismatch” in the distribution of the product in stores and supermarkets, as the companies explained -although since the Center for Retail Storekeepers, Baristas, Self-Service Workers and Allied Workers of Uruguay (Cambadu) They noted that replacement orders take between two and three days to arrive.
In this context, and without the guarantee that the rains that are expected will solve a critical situation, the government is already evaluating the idea that the companies import bottled water and, even, that the State itself does so to cover local demand.
“The prices of bottled water will be monitored and the necessary operations will be implemented for a possible import, if necessary,” the secretary of Chair, Alvaro Delgado, during the press conference in which he announced the battery of measures aimed at sustaining the supply of drinking water in the midst of the crisis.
In this sense, the possibility of looking for bottled water for the metropolitan area in other areas of the country is being studied and, if necessary, importing it from Argentina either Brazil. Meanwhile, and in parallel, the MEF is considering exempting import taxes on this product, which has become fundamental in Uruguayan daily consumption.