(NEXSTAR) – Water water everywhere — but some of it isn’t even worth sipping.
The judges of an “international water tasting” have determined the top-tasting waters from across the world, with awards given for best municipal waters, best bottled waters, and even the best packaging. Among the winners were several waters from the United States, which were in competition against entries from a total of 14 countries across five continents.
The Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting, held in Berkeley Springs, is described as “the Olympics of water” by Arthur von Wiesenberger, the event’s “perennial watermaster.” This year, nine judges from various local and national media outlets were chosen to rate the waters based on appearance, aroma, taste, mouthfeel and aftertaste. Results were announced on Saturday following the hourslong judging process, with top marks for the Best Municipal Water in the world awarded to the municipality of Rossarden, in Tasmania, Australia.
As for the Best Municipal Water in America, however, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California — a previous champion in 2008 — was selected as the winner. Second, third and fourth-place waters from the U.S. included those from Santa Ana, California; the Southwest Water Authority of Dickinson, North Dakota; and Fort Wayne, Indiana.
- Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
- Santa Ana, California
- Southwest Water Authority, Dickinson, North Dakota
- Fort Wayne, Indiana
The U.S. failed to take the top spot for Best Bottled Water, but still maintained a strong showing: Eldorado Natural Spring Water, from Eldorado Springs, Colorado, was second only to Ulunom bottled water from Shizuoka, Japan. Bottled waters from Canada, Greece, and Virginia (Grand Springs Spring Water) rounded out the top five.
- Ulunom, Shizuoka, Japan
- Eldorado Natural Spring Water, Eldorado Springs, Colorado
- Jasa Spring Water, Gorham, Ontario, Canada
- Samaria Natural Spring Water, Crete, Greece
- Grand Springs Spring Water, Alton, Virginia
Meanwhile, the U.S. completely swept the Best Purified Drinking Water category, with first place going to Ophora Hyper-Oxygenated Water of Santa Barbara, California. Waterfy Me from Gaithersburg, Maryland, and Lesage Natural from Lesage, West Virginia, came in second and third, respectively.
- Ophora Hyper-Oxygenated Water, Santa Barbara, California
- Waterfy Me – Gaithersburg, Maryland
- Lesage Natural, Lesage, West Virginia
The U.S. was also represented among the top sparkling waters, specifically a two-way tie for fifth place between Mountain Valley Sparkling Spring Water from Hot Springs, Arizona, and Castle Rock Sparkling Glacial Water from Shasta Springs, California. As for best packaging, Hawaiian Springs Natural Artesian Water from Kea’au, Hawaii, took third place, while Vibrant WTR from Hamilton, Ohio, came in fifth.
Despite waters from 14 different countries (and 19 U.S. states) represented, it’s unclear how many entrants, in total, were judged at the 2021 event. The Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting does not release exhaustive rankings, but rather only the top several in each category.
“It was another wonderful year for the longest running and largest water tasting in the world,” said von Wiesenberger in a press release.
Past winners from the event’s history can viewed at the Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting website.