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Winners of the 2015 International Water Tasting

Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting

WATER FACTOIDS

  • Water is everywhere, covering 3/4 of the planet's surface.

  • 97% of the Earth's water is salt water and over 2% is polluted or part of the ice cap, leaving less than 2% available for human use.

  • Water cleanses, comforts and heals.

  • An indispensable nutrient, it makes up most of human body weight.

  • 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated.

  • A mere 2% drop in body water can trigger fuzzy short-term memory, trouble with basic math and difficulty focusing on the computer screen and/or on a printed page.

  • Drinking 5 glasses of water daily decreases the risk of colon cancer by 45%, can slash the risk of breast cancer by 79% and one is 50% less likely to develop bladder cancer.

  • 84% of Americans feel the pollution of water is a major problem.

  • United Nations' International Decade for Action, Water for Life ~ Celebrated in Berkeley Springs February 24-27, 2011.

25th ANNUAL BERKELEY SPRINGS INTERNATIONAL WATER TASTING
February 19-22, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE ~ February 10, 2015
Travel Berkeley Springs - Berkeley Springs, West Virginia
1-800-447-8797 •  www.berkeleysprings.com
Press Contact only: Jill Klein Rone ~ 304-258-3302

25TH ANNIVERSARY WATER CELEBRATION GOES GLOBAL

BERKELEY SPRINGS, WV – The Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting celebrates 25 years of welcoming waters from across the country and around the globe by making it an online media event.  Held on Friday and Saturday, February 20 and 21 at the Country Inn in the historic spa town of Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, it is the largest and longest running water tasting competition in the world. 

“By taking this online, water groupies and students can participate from classrooms and living rooms anywhere on the planet,” said staff producer, Jill Klein Rone.  “It’s 21st century WaterTainment.”

The live tasting of municipal waters, followed by purified drinking water, begins at 2:30pm on Saturday.  Bottled waters, both still and sparkling, are tasted at 6:30pm. Winners in all categories are announced at a public awards reception at 8pm.

More than 700 distinct waters have entered over the life of the event coming from all over the United States and from as far away as Greece, New Zealand and Korea. "The impact of winning this event is extraordinary for a bottler," said Jeanne Mozier, one of the event founders.  “Several have experienced exponential growth, others closed major deals, and almost all winners redesign their labels to display their winning medal.”

A distinguished panel of media judges determines the official winners, but there is a role for the public that is present on site.  All day Saturday, they taste water along with the judges.  Most importantly, public at the event votes for the People's Choice award for best packaging. "How the product looks has become ever more important as the bottled water industry continues to grow," said Mozier. "There are now more than 600 brands of bottled water."

Mozier admits the event is a little tame. "The real excitement for the audience comes at the conclusion," she said. "Once the awards are presented, we stage the now world-famous 'water rush' where folks scramble to take home some of the hundreds of bottles of water that have been used for display." The grab for water was highlighted by cable television's Games Across America.

Watermaster Arthur von Wiesenberger, noted expert and author from Santa Barbara, CA, trains the media judges and directs the challenge of evaluating a product where tastelessness is the most sought after quality. The unique event, dubbed the "granddaddy of water tastings," by von Wiesenberger, is produced by Travel Berkeley Springs. 

Handcrafted glass water drops created by Appalachian Glass are presented as awards in the various categories.  "We wanted something different and unique to celebrate our 25th anniversary," said Mozier.

Past judges include representatives from dozens of national magazines and various television networks.  This year’s panel includes a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist as well as the producer of EmeraldPlanet TV, which will air a segment highlighting Berkeley Springs’ local water economy. The award-winning event was featured on a National Geographic Today television special as well as repeated documentaries and has been named to various top event lists. 
           
"Water: Beneath the Surface and Around the Globe," the event's 25th annual seminar, has five water experts addressing issues of drinking water safety on Friday, February 20 from 1 - 5pm.  “It’s an appropriate topic for opening up engagement to the global online audience,” said Klein Rone. “Whether it’s safe to drink the water is an issue that affects everyone on the planet.”

Headlining the seminar is Thomas McAbee, Executive Director of the Lloyd Magothy Water Trust, Inc. delivering the inaugural Alan A. Leff Memorial Lecture.  “We’re honored that the Drinking Water Research Foundation chose the Berkeley Springs Water Tasting to launch the series,” said Klein Rone.  McAbee introduces Long Island’s successful Operation Big Red Box which aids the general public in responsible disposal of prescription medicines by providing pharmaceutical collection receptacles. 

The water tasting’s 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award winner, Jack C. West, Chairman of the Drinking Water Research Foundation discusses facts to ponder before banning bottled water.

Other speakers are West Virginia Rivers Coalition Executive Director, Angie Rosser, reporting on responses to the 2014 toxic water spill in the state capital; Michael Cervin, author and Senior Editor of BottledWaterWeb, examining how the force of water transforms our psyche; and Henry Hidell, global water expert talking about the effect of climate change on water.

The online media event and WaterTainment enabling engagement from individuals around the world is developed and hosted by Dr. Cat Shrier, and her Water Citizen News organization.  People can register at www.berkeleysprings.com for any or all three segments of the event: Friday’s seminar, and tastings both Saturday afternoon and evening.  “There will be special segments recorded during the live event as well as comments from the online audience,” said Mozier.  “Our online guests will have to bring their own water to their tastings.  They’ll be able to see the award presentations and water rush but won’t be able to take home any of the water.  That experience is only for our live audience.”  

The water tasting weekend begins on Thursday, February 19, with preliminary tastings at The Country Inn that are open to the public.  Special events and activities continue everywhere in Morgan County through Sunday, February 22.  For more information, call 800-447-8797 or check the award-winning website -- www.berkeleysprings.com.

Water Seminar Talks Threats and Solutions

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE ~ February 9, 2015
Travel Berkeley Springs - Berkeley Springs, West Virginia
1-800-447-8797 •  www.berkeleysprings.com
Press Contact only: Jill Klein Rone ~ 304-258-3302

PHOTOS AVAILABLE ON REQUEST

BERKELEY SPRINGS, WV ---- To celebrate a quarter of a century of the Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting, event producers are making both the Friday seminar and Saturday’s tastings an online media event.  “It’s global education and WaterTainment,” said Jill Klein Rone, staff producer for the Travel Berkeley Springs event.

Major figures in the world of water come together at the 25th Anniversary seminar on Friday, February 20 from 1-5pm at The Country Inn to address crucial issues related to drinking water safety.  For the first time, direct public engagement from around the world is possible.  Anyone can register to participate on www.berkeleysprings.com.

“Thanks to Dr. Cat Shrier and her Water Citizen News Team, the critical information of the seminar moves from a room filled with people to the entire globe,” said Klein Rone. “Berkeley Springs truly will be Center of the Universe for an issue that affects every person on the planet – safety of their drinking water.”  Dr. Shrier sees people engaging live from various locations including classrooms and water tasting parties as well as accessing the archived information following the event.  Dr. Shrier is a noted multi-media journalist and respected global thought leader and consultant on water issues. 

Klein Rone also announced a segment of the television show “Emerald Planet” devoted to water issues will highlight Berkeley Springs’ local water economy.  Airing Sunday evening, February 15,  “Emerald Planet” is simulcast to more than 500 stations around the United States and then overseas by C-Span and the Internet.

Kicking off Water Tasting weekend activities on February 20 and 21, the free afternoon seminar, "Water: Beneath the Surface and Around the Globe” offers both the public and members of the municipal and bottled water industries the opportunity to engage various water experts on a variety of topics.

“We’re working to arrange for student groups to attend as part of their science classes,” said Klein Rone. 

Leading off the afternoon session, Angie Rosser returns to Berkeley Springs to inform seminar participants of lessons learned and reforms advanced on source water protection in response to the 2014 West Virginia water crisis, the largest chemical drinking water contamination event in United States history.

2015 Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, Jack C. West presents Drinking Water 101, Facts to Ponder before Banning Bottled Water offering insights that colleges and municipalities left out of their decisions to ban bottled water sales.

BottledWaterWeb.com’s senior editor and author, Michael Cervin examines water’s unexpected and promising outcomes by exploring three unique locations and events: Tern Island/Hawaii; The St. Francis Dam Disaster; and Hinkley -- the story behind the movie Erin Brockovich.

“We’re proud to announce that the Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting was selected to host the first annual Alan A. Leff Memorial Lecture established by the Drinking Water Research Foundation (DWRF) to honor Leff’s memory” said Klein Rone. Alan Leff spent the latter part of his career in the water industry, including testing and bottled water production, and was actively involved with water quality, as well as supporting water associations and research around the world.  The lecture series focuses on issues of water safety, challenges and risks.  The inaugural presentation at the seminar targets responsible disposal of unwanted medications.  Presenter, Thomas McAbee, Executive Director of the Lloyd Magothy Water Trust, Inc. introduces Long Island’s successful Operation Big Red Box which aids the general public by providing pharmaceutical collection receptacles.

Henry R. Hidell, III, founder of Hidell International, discusses the implications of climate change on water including hot-button topics from water ownership to human migration.  

The two-day Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting hosts more than 100 waters from all over the world at The Country Inn on Friday and Saturday, February 20 and 21.  It is produced by Travel Berkeley Springs. For more information call 800-447-8797 or check the award winning website—www.BerkeleySprings.com

Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting Lifetime Achievement Award for on-going distinguished contributions to the bottled water industry was given for the first time in 2012.

BERKELEY SPRINGS 2015 INTERNATIONAL WATER TASTING LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT
TO BE AWARDED TO Jack C. West
  --Chairman, Drinking Water Research Foundation

Lifetime Achievement Award 2014: Dian Taylor

Lifetime Achievement Award 2013: Henry R. Hidell, III

Lifetime Achievement Award 2012: James M. Stevens, Sr.

The Golden Award of Excellence 2012: Kunlun Mountains Natural Mineral Water