When water isn't good enough

A new breed of Indian bottled water is black, alkaline, volcanic or emerges from secret springs with promises of health and unmatched purity. Does the science add up?

This story begins where reportage shouldn’t: a press release.

The email is a pitch as hackneyed as others that flood journalists’ inboxes, yet unique in its contempt for water as we know it. It reads thus:

India’s first new-age, black alkaline bottled water brand.

Evocus H2O is no ordinary water; it is a premium, revolutionary, new-age, alkaline bottled water that gets its unique black colour from nature’s 70+ minerals, sourced from the depth of the Earth. 100% natural, Evocus H2O is delivered untouched by human hand, bottled in a fully automated, sterile and state-of-the-art plant. It provides superior hydration, better …


Roshni P. Nair

Roshni is a features writer and former editor of The Morning Context's Chaos team. Her career spans The Ken, Reuters, the Hindustan Times and DNA. She is a recipient of the UNFPA Laadli award and was shortlisted for the RedInk Awards 2016 for her story on Mumbai’s leprosy colonies. Her far-flung ideas would sometimes drive our editor-in-chief Ashish up the wall, but he wouldn’t have had it any other way (even if he didn’t admit it).