Free Friday Water Festival seminars highlight economics & education

The 32nd Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting begins with a seminar, “Water: Beneath the Surface and Around the Globe” on Friday, February 25 from 1 to 5 p.m. at The Country Inn.  It is free and open to the public.

Jonathan Bellingham, Director of Guest Services at Capon Springs Resort and Farms, begins the afternoon with the amazing story of how a West Virginia water continues to flow through the American experience from the 1700′s to today.

2017 Lifetime Achievement Award winner Scott Shipe is the founder of Water Advocacy on YouTube, the top water video information site in the world.  Shipe talks about the cost of water and how it’s outpacing inflation, and examines why many customers can’t cope with increasing utility rates.

Shayron Barnes-Selby, Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer, Primo Water Corporation discusses the intersection of bottled water and ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance). Today customers/consumers, employees and shareholders are closely evaluating a company’s purpose and values. How does a company demonstrate its willingness to fulfill the mandates of an ESG program that is clear, yet measurable? How can an ESG program not only be beneficial to the company but also to society, as well as help grow the company?  An advocate for the bottled water industry for over 36 years, Barnes-Selby is this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award recipient. Tesanjski kiseljak and company Zema d.o.o. from Tesanj, Bosnia and Herzegovina is the presenting sponsor of the Lifetime Achievement Award.

With threats from droughts, floods, a changing climate and increased demands, understanding and managing water takes on a new urgency.  John Etgen. CEO of Project WET: Water Education Today, invites participants to join his interactive presentation and learn how the leading water education organization in the world is addressing water problems and taking action both globally and locally, ensuring we have water for the future, bringing hope and collective actions to an increasingly water-stressed world.

H2O: The Intelligence of Water. Water is Life…and Life is Water. From the latest scientific research and discoveries to the most spiritual approach, filmmaker and CEO of Wonderland Entertainment, Emmanuel Itier goes around the world to discover the true essence of water. He discusses how water might be the necessary element to truly transform our civilization of war into a humanity of peace and love.

Continuing audience and panel discussion of these and other vital water related topics takes place in the last hour of the seminar, moderated by global water expert, Henry R. “Bob” Hidell, III.

Due to the ongoing Covid pandemic, masks will be required. Masking will provide safety and privacy for all of those involved and attendees.  Judges and participants welcome this decision. “We want to thank everyone in advance for their understanding and cooperation,” said Travel Berkeley Springs president, Stephanie Rebant.

The two-day Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting hosts waters from sixteen countries and states as far away as Hawaii at The Country Inn on Friday and Saturday, February 25 and 26.  It is produced by Travel Berkeley Springs , with support from presenting sponsor Hawaiian Spring Water.  The seminar and Saturday’s award ceremony are live streamed on BerkeleySpringsWV Facebook page.  For more information call 304-258-9147 or check the website—