Ian Edelman in Doha

Expat exploits in Qatar

The watercooler effect

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Qatar’s water consumption is among the highest in the world. It is a hot place with an ever increasing population and large construction projects so one would expect high usage. Retreated waste water is used to irrigate and keep the city green.

All the water flowing through water pipes and taps is desalinated sea water.  I read somewhere recently that the country has around two or three days reserve supplies at any time. There are projects underway to increase production and storage capacity.

Although the quality of drinking water in Qatar exceeds the water safety standards set by  the World Health Organization, many people buy bottled water for drinking and cooking.

The water coming from the taps in our apartment is, as far as I can tell, clean and safe. We use it to shower, wash our clothes and dishes, and to brush our teeth.

Yet we are now the proud owners of a watercooler. It stands in our lobby area, ready and waiting to dispense both hot and cold water bought from Nestle.


Water bottle deliveries are every Saturday. All we have to do is put the empty one outside our front door with a pre-paid voucher in the neck of the bottle. The supplier then brings the new bottles up the ten floors to our door.

I can’t tell where they source their water supply as there is no information on either the bottle or their literature. They do tell me it is ‘absolutely pure’ and contains calcium and magnesium. They also claim it will ‘provide harmonizing goodness’.

So far we only use it to quench our thirst, however I will report back if it also becomes the focal point for conversations, gossip and rumour.


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