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?
Roshni P. Nair
31 July 2020

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 detoxification, improved metabolism and heightened alertness, all through the day. Evocus H2O is the feel good factor, health signature, style statement and game changing water with a difference– all in one bottle.

On any given day, one would either

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