By Elizabeth Daley
At Casa del Agua in Mexico City a good day is a rainy day, founder Bosco Quinzaños explained. If you want clean drinking water, you just have to look to the sky.
Quinzaños owns a water-bottling establishment in a country known for its dirty tap water. However, with a little help, he and his team are able to turn local rainwater into the purest form of H20, proving it’s possible to create clean drinking water almost anywhere. “The point that we want to transmit is that the city could be 100 percent sustainable if we relied on rainwater,” Quinzaños said.
Mexico City gets approximately 1,000 liters of rain per square mile per year, but most of it goes down the drain. The tap water in some areas of Mexico is so dirty that people won’t even use it to bathe their children or brush their teeth and American travelers may vividly remember drinking Mexican tap water thanks to its unpleasant after-effects. For this reason, residents and visitors often rely on bottled water, primarily sold by large corporations like PepsiCo or CocaCola and hauled across vast expanses, creating large carbon footprints.
At Casa del Agua, water is produced in small batches in a process that begins when rain hits the facility’s roof garden. It then goes through a complex filtration system involving, rocks, distillation and ionization among other techniques. At the end of the process, high quality purified water is poured into glass bottles emblazoned with the Casa’s black ink designs and sold to visitors who may refill the 600 ml bottles.
While some purchase the three-dollar bottle for its design, others buy it for the concept. “It rains frequently in Mexico City, and we are trying to show that there is a way to use rain water for its highest purpose,” Quinzaños said, “its essentially the most important thing you can get, therefore it has to be the most beautiful and the most well packaged,” he added. The facility’s sleek two-floor minimalist design no doubt adds to the water’s appeal.
Visitors to Mexico City can stop by Casa Del Agua at Puebla No. 242, Col. Roma Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and on Saturday and Sunday from noon to 8 p.m. to buy bottles of water or enjoy the roof garden with a glass of water or a cup of tea. The facility offers guided tours at 2 p.m., 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. on weekdays and hourly on weekends from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.