Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Would you drink tap water in Mexico? This official had little choice

To drink or not to drink? The answer in Mexico more often than not is no.

You got it, we’re talking about humble (unfiltered) tap water.

The drinkability (or otherwise) of tap water in the metropolitan area of Guadalajara came up on Friday during an appearance in the Jalisco Congress of the director of the state’s Inter-municipal System of Potable Water and Sewage Services, or SIAPA.

During a grilling from lawmakers over dirty tap water in Guadalajara and other issues, Carlos Enrique Torres Lugo was presented with a challenge by Congresswoman Mara Robles.

Would he drink a glass of water from a faucet connected to the very water system he oversees?

“I went to the kitchen on the second floor of this Congress building and filled a jug of water from the faucet for both of us,” Robles said.

“Can you assure me that we can drink water from the faucet with complete certainty that it is potable?”

Torres nodded, prompting Robles to pour two glasses of congressional tap water, which looked clean enough – at least to the naked eye. And then – after clinking glasses – the lawmaker and the water director drank. Neither displayed any immediate ill effects.

Dirty water has been reported in more than 50 neighborhoods of Guadalajara since July, and residents continue to share evidence online. (@lizcampe/X)

“It’s the first time this has happened!” Robles exclaimed, apparently indicating that Torres isn’t the first water official she has challenged to drink a glass of tap water.

She later joked that they’ll both need to get medical checkups to ensure that they haven’t contracted an illness from drinking the Guadalajara water.

Tap water quality varies across Mexico – as do opinions about whether it is safe to drink – and contamination is caused by different things in different parts of the country.

Choosing to drink tap water or not in Mexico is obviously a personal decision, but in case you’re looking for some advice, the Mexican Association for Correct Hydration, a non-government organization that monitors water quality, “emphatically” advises against it, according to a report by the El Financiero newspaper.

There just may be a reason why bottled water is so popular here.

With reports from Informador and Mural 

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