2-15-13 Water seminar has star power

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BERKELEY SPRINGS — The 23rd Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting seminar on Friday, Feb. 22 features two major figures as well as a local teenager with an impressive series of science fair wins. “Water: Beneath the Surface and Around the Globe” kicks off weekend activities and offers both the public and members of the municipal and bottled water industries the opportunity to engage various water experts. Scheduled from 1-5 p.m., the seminar and Saturday’s official tastings are held at Berkeley Springs Inn Best Western Conference Center in Berkeley Springs.

Dr. Kathy Gruver hosts the national TV show based on her first book, “The Alternative Medicine Cabinet.”  A PhD in Natural Health, Gruver explores the history and effectiveness of water as a healing element with her presentation, “To your health: water as healing, inside and out.”

Henry R. Hidell III, founder of Hidell International, presents “Water, Spirituality and Ernest Hemingway – the thread of the stream,” in which he weaves together the physics of water, the need for connectedness and Hemingway’s use of water in his novels and short stories.

Hidell is recognized as an expert in international economic and business development and has actively participated in the development of beverage industry organizations, trade groups and production facilities throughout the world. He is the Berkeley Springs Water Tasting’s second recipient of its Lifetime Achievement Award, to be presented on Saturday night.

Posing the choice we have between “don’t drink the water” or “water is our most precious resource,” Robert M. Beringer, vice president, for Water & Wastewater, JMT Engineers in Sparks, Md., focuses on sustainability, historic abuses and life-saving advances with his presentation: “Brilliant Water” Are We Ready For the Future?”

Christopher Hogan, vice president of communications, International Bottled Water Association, outlines some of the challenges facing the bottled water industry, the approaches IBWA is taking to meet them, and the importance of separating fact from fiction.

“We’re thrilled to have very special presenter this year,” said Jill Klein Rone, staff producer for the event. Michael Pracht is an 11th grade student at Paw Paw High School in Morgan County whose water-based project has been winning awards at local and state science fairs including the prestigious West Virginia Stockholm Junior Water Prize presented by the WV Water Environment Federation.  “His project has a mind-twisting scientific title,” said Rone “but what it does is compare cleaning up oil spills with human hair to more conventional methods.”

The two-day Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting hosts more than 100 waters from all over the world at the Berkeley Springs Inn Best Western Conference Center on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 22 and 23.  It is produced by Travel Berkeley Springs. For more information on special activities and sales throughout the county call 800-447-8797 or check the award winning website www.BerkeleySprings.com

Bios of seminar speakers, and more information on their topics, are also available on the website.

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