Saturday, May 28, 2005

Private firms producing desalinated bottled water :: Khaleej Times

RAS AL KHAIMAH — Water desalination business here is going through a rough patch due to the tough competition between companies which has led to compromise on quality and standardisation besides triggering a price war.

RAK has around 81 water desalination and purification facilities, 11 of which produce water for industrial purposes. Some of these factories have bottling capabilities while the rest supply water through tankers. “Most of the small sized plants will have to quit the market because of the tough competition,” says Faisal bin Faris, Head of the Trade License Issuance Centre (MART) of RAK Economic Department (RED).
Do I think the invisible hand will take care of consumers in this case? I have friends here who have had water tested. They report that there is substantial difference in quality. As reported in the story, grocers also are selective in the suppliers they use. Most consumers don't test water themselves, but they give their business to grocers and restaurants that they rely on to sell safe products. Are enough buyers doing this to force firms to price their water according to its quality, and to drive unsafe producers out of the market?

The tap water in Sharjah and Dubai is potable, but most of us don't use it for drinking.

UPDATE: June 4, Bottled water: UAE plans certification

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