Water: Beneath the Surface and Around the Globe
Friday, June 4 – 1- 5pm

1pm Arthur von Wiesenberger, Watermaster
Opening remarks
Open discussion, Q & A

Arthur von WeisenbergArthur von Wiesenberger
Moderator and Water Master The International Water Tasting & Competition
Noted water expert and consultant

Well known for Nipper’s, his highly successful champagne and caviar club in California, von Wiesenberger added water tastings to his wine tasting business in the late 1970s. He is a past president of the International Food, Wine and Travel Writers Association, the American Institute of Wine and Food and the Society of Wine Educators.  His books include Champagne & Caviar, A Pocket Guide to Bottled Water and The Taste of Water.  The original Water Master of the Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting, von Wiesenberger has served in all but three festivals through the 29 years.  Among his consulting clients are Anheiser-Busch and Perrier.

See why Arthur von Wiesenberger was chosen for this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award.


TOPIC: Bottled Water, Natural Disasters and Emergencies

Discussion of the bottled water industry’s role in response to natural disasters and other emergency situations – including the 2021 Texas winter storm and the Covid-19 pandemic. While no government officials were suggesting that Covid affected their tap water, people are so used to buying bottled water in any emergency so there was a huge demand for bottled water early last year. And bottled water companies, like all other food companies, are considered part of the countries critical infrastructure by the Department of Homeland Security.

https://berkeleyspringswatertasting.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Joedoss.jpgJoe Doss, President and CEO, International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) since 1999, has extensive experience in association management and food and drug, government affairs, public relations and legal issues. His previous positions include: Senior Vice President and Director of Public Affairs, Consumer Healthcare Products Association; Government Affairs Representative, National Stone Association; and Legislative Analyst, LEGI-SLATE of Congress. He serves on the Board of Directors at the International Council of Bot tled Water Associations and is a member of the Food and Drug Law Institute and the American Bar Association. He was the Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting Lifetime Achievement Award Winner in 2019.


Topic: Protecting Drinking Water through Land Conservation

A partnership in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia is using land conservation, including both voluntary conservation easements and practices like riparian forest buffers, to protect drinking water supplies. Learn more about their partnership from Tanner Haid, WV Rivers Coalition, and Kristin Mielcarek, Canaan Valley Institute. Specifically, they will explain the partnership’s history and mission, and then dive deeper into how riparian forest buffers keep drinking water clean and opportunities for establishing buffers to protect drinking water in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia.

Tanner Haid is the Eastern Panhandle Field Coordinator for West Virginia Rivers Coalition and serves as the host partner for the Safe Water Conservation Collaborative.  He brings nearly a decade of community outreach and hands‐on conservation experience to WV Rivers, assisting local water utilities with implementing source water protection priorities. He is also the state lead for the Choose Clean Water Coalition in West Virginia. In his private time, he serves on both the Planning Commission and Tree Board for the City of Charles Town.


Kristin Mielcarek is the Executive Director at the Canaan Valley Institute and serves on the Collaborative’s Education & Outreach
Committee. Canaan Valley Institute is a nonprofit, environmental conservation organization that believes “water is the foundation of life, healthy living, economic growth, and recreation”. Since 2014, they have restored 20+ miles of streams, educated nearly 10,000 youth, installed more than 700 septic tanks, and enhanced 161+ acres of riparian buffers.


TOPIC: Disaster in Texas and Population Migration

Millions of Texans scrambled for drinking water after the devastating 2021 winter deep freeze and storm. 1,100 public water systems and 14 million customers were affected by water system disruptions. The presentation examines the power outages, record low temperatures that caused pipes to burst across the state, plummeting pressure and depletjng reserves to residents and businesses.

Scott Shipe has 44 years of experience managing water & wastewater utilities having worked at four utilities. During his career he has served on many Water Industry national boards and currently serves as the Government Affairs Chair of the Chesapeake Section of the American Water Works Association. Scott’s top accomplishment is being an advocate for the both the water and wastewater industries and has participated for the past twenty years at the National Water Policy Week and Fly-In on Capitol Hill. That has included over five hundred meetings with key Congressional Senate & House members on many issues including Watershed Protection, MTBE, the Chemical Security Act, WIFIA and Lead in our Nations Drinking Water. Scott received the George Warren Fuller Fellowship Award in 2013 from AWWA for distinguished service to the water supply field in commemoration of the sound engineering skill and was named the Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting Lifetime Achievement Award Winner in 2017. Scott is also the founder of Water Advocacy on YouTube that is top water video resource transparency information site in the World with over 370 subjects from A-Z Source Water to the Drinking Water Topics.

TOPIC:  David Contemplates Goliath’s Infrastructure Plan

The national momentum to build the economy with new roads, bridges, and utility construction brings with it a concern of the environmental damage it creates.  Large scale land use changes often cause flooding, impair water quality, accelerate invasive weed and insect attacks, and increase health risks from air pollution. What can citizens do to embrace progress, but protect the environment, particularly vulnerable water supplies?  A small watershed group outlines their preparations and as they face these challenges.

Kate Lehman, President, Warm Springs Watershed Association,  lived in Long Island, NY for 25 years where she served Unitarian Universalist congregations. In 2008, Lehman saw an article in the local paper seeking volunteers to establish a watershed association for Warm Springs Run. She called, hoping to identify what turns out to be an unnamed tributary across the street from her house. Before long, she had forsaken her retirement vow to never again take another leadership position in anything.
Rebecca MacLeod is the Vice President for the Warm Springs Watershed Association Board of Directors and serves on the Town of Bath Streetscape Committee and North Berkeley Rail Trail Task Force. She retired from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service in 2017 as the national program manager for the EQIP National Air Quality, Climate Change, and On-Farm Energy Initiatives, which provided $70 million annually to farmers to help combat climate change. Rebecca is a graduate of West Virginia University with a BS in Agronomy. 


Topic: Group Discussion

Henry “Bob” Hidell is the Founder, Chairman & Managing Director of Hidell International providing consulting services to the beverage, drinking water, food and nutrition industries since 1972. His professional expertise spans the spectrum of business, technical, and educational services with specific expertise in the formulation of business strategies, mergers and acquisitions, and turnkey development of beverage bottling facilities. He is a recognized expert in international economic and business development, and is the 2013 Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient.

 2020 Winners