by Gus Donohoo

A Selection of Fabulous Hydration—While It Lasts
The oasis and the mirage are the dichotomy of the desert—water and its illusion, life and the promise of death. Like weary travellers—our tired feet shifting beneath sliding sands—we peer over the dunes towards a shimmering visage.

Our vast cities—so long oases of palm-lined boulevards and shallow turquoise pools—are beginning to glimmer in the haze.

Los Angeles is in trouble. Our water reserves are in a perilous state with the entirety of California left with only one year’s supply in its reservoirs. NASA, using their GRACE satellites to measure groundwater content via changes in the earth’s gravitational field, announced late last year that since 2011 the amount of water that vanished from California’s basins topped four trillion gallons per year—a volume far greater than the annual usage of the state’s 38 million residents.

But fear not o timid reader! As our reservoirs run dry, and as our oasis withers, the world remains a large place, and while a mere 0.6% of the planet’s water is drinkable and accessible (e.g. fresh and not in the icecaps), there are myriad fabulous alternatives available for quenching your thirsty tongue. So while supplies last, push from your mind the Mad Max visions of endless sand, mohawks, and mayhem, and consider the following: a survey of our favorite bottles of water.


Far away on the Chinese-Siberian frontier, beside baying packs of Siberian wolves, and handsome herds of yelping yaks, a spring bubbles up from the Beian aquifer, and it is from this pure untouched source that Krystal is drawn.  A water abundant in minerals and trace elements, with a pH higher than 8!


While Los Angeles’ ground water may be evaporating, our bespoke bottled water game is strong. 90H20 is the aspirational table fare that—at least for those of us whose first brush with the Beverly Hills postcode was via the Aaron Spelling teen soap opera—recalls a more innocent time when nobody knew whether Kelly and Brandon would make it as a couple, or what the point of Andrea was. 90H20 claims to be the world’s very first “Master Crafted” water, and was concocted by a water sommelier. It comes in an elegant art-deco bottle and is not sourced from the Los Angeles river.


For water steeped in health and history, the thermal springs at Mondariz in Galicia, Spain produce a tonic with a consummate pedigree. It is believed that since Roman times these springs were an essential itinerary stop for the health-conscious toga-bound citizen. In 1282, Princess Isabella of Aragon took the hand of King Diniz of Portugal—tradition has it—beside a bubbling Mondariz brook. In the 19th century, the spa of today took shape when a local doctor became infatuated with the water’s healing properties. Soon the destination was a glamorous retreat favored by everyone from the Nobel Laureate Jose de Echegaray, to the dictator Miguel Primo de Rivera, to the philanthropist John D. Rockefeller III. Now the marvel of globalization sees 140 million bottles per year of this timeless water bottled, packaged, and shipped straight to your very own fridge. Serve “chilled but not too chilled” at 62.6 degrees Fahrenheit.

Kona Deep

1000 years ago, a glacier in Greenland fell apart, and as the ice melted into the warmer sea water it sunk, and then—because currents—that crisp, fresh, Nordic water traveled all the way around the world, right across the globe, to Hawaii, where it lurked at great depths, before being extracted from 3000 feet beneath the sea, and desalinated, and bottled, then sold as Kona Deep.


That wise rule of thumb—taught by mothers to errant children—to avoid drinking water that isn’t clear, is subverted by the black water of blk. A heady cocktail of “more than 77” (78? 79?) minerals, and awash with fulvic acid—the major constituent of soil—blk. is surely the most drinkable of all dirty waters.


The Nunobiki waterfalls in Kobe, Japan are one of the “divine falls” of Japanese lore, and the waters bottled from Nunobiki thus deserve the most divine of packaging. Coming in a variety of gold and silver-crowned, Swarovski bejewelled bottles that resemble Liberace’s chess pieces, Fillico sells for upwards of $100 per bottle.