In India, packaged bottle water has established a major foothold. In some cities, piped-water systems are lacking; in others, people are uncertain about biological contamination, taste, and odor.
Even in the capital New Delhi, only about three fourths of the population receives piped water from the municipal authority. Outside New Delhi far fewer people have access to clean water distribution. In both locations, these families must find alternate water sources if they are to avoid epidemics and other health problems spawned by the foul, contaminated water available in their neighborhoods.
A solution has appeared as Large Capacity water refilling stations that now dot the Indian landscape. These water stations began as privately run community sources, where consumers would bring containers and fill them for a per-gallon fee that is a small fraction of commercially bottled water's cost. Demand is such that most stores now offer home delivery for regular customers.
Most shops produce between 3,000 and 12,000 liters of water per day. Typically, the supply comes from the pipes of municipal concessionaires. Entrepreneurs invest in treatment equipment and further purify their product before sale.
The government has accepted private water shops as a necessary weapon in the fight against waterborne disease and regulates their quality control practices and final product as much as possible.