Local Lifestyle, News

Water festival seminars will touch on justice, water protection & bottled water impacts

The 34th Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting begins with a seminar, Water: Beneath the Surface and Around the Globe on Friday, February 23 from 1 to 5 p.m. at The Country Inn of Berkeley Springs.  It is free and open to the public.

Kicking off the seminar, Rona Kobell, co-founder of the Environmental Justice Journalism Initiative, shares her film, Eroding History, a climate justice story at the intersection of sea level rise, historic racism and the disappearance of  black  communities.

A discussion of Per- and Polyfluorinated Substances (PFAS), what it is and why it is a pollutant of significant concern is presented by Brent Walls, Upper Potomac Riverkeeper.  Learn where PFAS is in our environment and how you are most likely exposed, and understand your role in protecting our environment and your family.

Lawrence Armstrong offers simple self-checks you can take each day to support healthy hydration, via Zoom. He holds the rank of Professor Emeritus, the University of Connecticut, where he served for 28 years in the Human Performance Laboratory and held joint appointments in the Departments of Nutritional Sciences and Physiology/Neurobiology.

Co-founder and Vice-President of the Balneology Association of North American, Janet Abbott will present a cultural retrospective of mineral waters. Balneology is the study and practices of the arts and sciences of natural mineral waters for well-being, including drinking, soaking, steaming and muds.

President and CEO of the International Bottled Water Association (IBWA), Joe Doss, addresses key bottled and tap water issues that have received increased attention from the media and government officials. His discussion includes microplastics, water use, and efforts by bottled water companies to reduce their environmental footprint.

The 2024 Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting Lifetime Achievement Award winner, Marc Edwards, will talk via Zoom, about telling the truth about water in an age of tribalism.

Marc Edwards

He is a University Distinguished Professor of Civil Engineering at Virginia Tech, where he teaches courses in environmental engineering, applied aquatic chemistry and engineering ethics.

His research group conducted the investigative science uncovering the 2001-2004 D.C. Lead Crisis and the 2014-2016 Flint Water Disaster. Time Magazine dubbed Edwards “The Plumbing Professor” in 2004, listing him amongst the four most important “Innovators” in water from around the world.

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.

The two-day Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting hosts waters from more than a dozen countries, and states from California to Florida, at The Country Inn of Berkeley Springs on Friday and Saturday, February 23 and 24.

It is produced by Travel Berkeley Springs, with support from presenting sponsor, Tesanjski Kiseljak and company Zema d.o.o. from Tesanj, Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as host bottler, Floridian Spring Water LLC.

The seminar and Saturday’s award ceremony are live streamed on the BerkeleySpringsWV Facebook page.  For more information call 304-258-9147 or check www.BerkeleySprings.com.