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Home > Natural Resources > Water Strategies to Preserve Natural Resource Supplies and Quality

Southern California (LA) Named BEST DRINKING WATER of 2008

Metropolitan Water District of Southern California and Desert Hot Springs top the charts for drinking water quality

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California water conservation Title of the Best Municipal Water in 2008 is shared by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California which services much of Los Angeles; and Clearbrook, British Columbia.

Metropolitan Water District was a gold medal winner in 1998 and has placed in the top five, four other years since.

For the first time in the history of the event, there were ties for both the gold and silver -- and both ties involved a Southern California and a British Columbia water.

"Good water rises to the top," said Jill Klein Rone, event producer. "Our tasting process is vindicated when the same waters are rated by a completely different panel of judges each year and still win."

Desert Hot Springs, California Ties for Second Place in Best Drinking Water

Second place is shared by Desert Hot Springs, California and the Village of Montrose, British Columbia. Desert Hot Springs won the gold in 2004 and 1999 and placed second in 2001.

Berkeley Springs, West Virginia hosts the annual Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting, known as the Academy Awards of water. More than 200 people watched at the Country Inn in Berkeley Springs on February 23 as a ten media judges spent hours tasting more than 120 waters from 19 states and nine foreign countries from New Zealand and Romania to Macedonia and the Philippines. Arthur von Wiesenberger, author and founder of once again served as the event's watermaster. "This is the longest running and largest water tasting in the world," he said. "The grandaddy of them all."

Best Bottled Water Award

A sentimental and local favorite -- and a first time entrant -- won the best bottled water. Tumai Water of Martinsburg, WV uses their business to raise funds to provide safe water in Africa. Second place was won by El Dorado Natural Spring Water, Eldarado Springs, CO

Best Purified Water Award

Purified water which is processed and bottled municipal tap water became a category in 2001. "We added them because this is a growing field," said von Wiesenberger. The 2008 winner was Great Blue, Federalsburg, MD, followed by Clear Creek Water Company of Farmington, NM.

The Water Judging Contest

The ten media judges selected by Klein Rone from publications including Atlanta Magazine, Delta and US Air inflight magazines, Southern Fried Magazine and Smart Set were instructed by von Wiesenberger to look, sniff and taste each water under guidelines like those in a wine tasting. The waters were rated for each attribute including appearance (it should be clear - or slightly opaque for glacial waters), aroma (there should be none), taste (it should taste clean), mouth feel (it should feel light), aftertaste (it should leave you thirsty for more). Waters were tasted in four separate flights over two days.

The water tasting is the centerpiece of the Winter Festival of Waters, a three-month series of special activities produced by Travel Berkeley Springs to heighten winter tourism business in Morgan County. The 19th annual Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting is scheduled for Saturday, February 21, 2009.

Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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