Key Concepts

Sources of Water

Fine water isn't a commodity with uniform characteristics but a natural, unprocessed product with terroir reflecting its origins' geology and circumstances. Many different sources create a wide variety of choices.

Fine water is intrinsically connected to the source, and not only the natural environment but the social and cultural environment around the source are also respected and protected.

The waters we are talking about in this book are very different in character, origin, and story, and we will learn all about the differences in the waters later in the book. Right now, I want us to focus on the thing all the waters I am talking about have in common. They are all from a natural, real source. Fine waters are a natural product given to us by nature, seldom taken and always unprocessed. The experience of drinking bottled fine water should be as close as possible to the experience of drinking the water at the source. Gentle bottling of the water at the source is sharing the drinking experience with the consumer.

Depending on where you live, a short trip to the supermarket will get you in front of many different bottled waters. It will be confusing and misleading as you think all of those waters are natural products. For example, if you live in the United States, there is a good chance that more than 50% of the water you see isn't a natural product but processed water. There are two very different products sold in bottles, and if you don't pay attention, you think it's the same.

A large portion of the water in supermarkets, convenience stores, gas stations, and other locations is processed water. Processed water is tap water that runs into the factory on the outskirts of your city. Most likely it's the same water you're drinking at home. The water is filtered and polished. That means minerals are added to give the water the taste researched and tested by a focus group and found the least offensive for the largest group of people. After the tap water is filtered and polished, it's filled into plastic bottles, labeled, and wrapped in large packages of 24 or 48 bottles.

A well-funded marketing campaign is now trying to convince you that you're smart in buying those waters in the supermarket and carrying it home. It is heavy and has a lot of plastic waste. All you get for your money and effort is the same water you already have at home by just opening your tap.

Those waters are Nestle Pure Life, Essentia, Aquafina, Dasani and, my favorite, SmartWater. In my opinion, it is ironic that Smart- Water makes people do the stupid thing of buying processed water in a plastic bottle when they already have tap water at home or a water fountain in the office.

There are many places with great municipal tap water. There are also places where the tap water is safe to drink but tastes awful. Buying a water filter system or a reverse osmosis (RO) system installed under your sink will solve the problem. You save a lot of money, and everyone saves a lot of plastic bottles from floating in the ocean.