Water Bar Explores Subtle Differences in Minnesota Taps

The Land of 10,000 Lakes is launching what is being called the world’s first full-fledged water bar.

On tap at the bar? A variety of tap waters, of course. As their motto explains, “water is all we have.” The free tap water is served up by artists, environmental scientists, water resource professionals and activists, because more importantly than being a “bar,” the Water Bar & Public Studio is a place to gather to discuss water issues facing the state.

“People think Minnesota doesn’t have any water problems, that we have so much water because we’re the Land of 10,000 Lakes,” Shanai Matteson, whose claim to fame is the concept of the water bar, told the Minneapolis Post. “Water is not something people think about, but we have potential water shortage problems and water quality problems…And across Minnesota, most people get their drinking water from groundwater sources, and those are not immune to pollutants.”

Over time, the organizers hope to expand the Water Bar Pop-Up concept into an art and sustainability incubator focused on environmental education throughout Minnesota.

In the meantime, tastings at the bar will explore the various nuances among taps.

“There are subtle differences in how the water is treated; for example, private well water is not really treated in the same way,” Matteson explained to the Minneapolis Post. “Sure, it’s tested and safe to drink, but it tastes different from city water. And we travel to other places and you can really tell where water isn’t quite so abundant or where cities don’t have the same level of treatment methods in place.” Read more