The High-End Water Industry

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Written By Paul Park
Paul Park is an educator, lecturer, public speaker, writer, and the founder of Bubble Language School.  

$1,390 bottles of water? We break down why people pay so much for a bottle of water.

Fillico Jewelry Water @ $1390 per liter

With our brain at 80% water and the rest of the body consisting of 70% water, it is essential for longevity.

Water is life.

Minerals and electrolytes are the conduits for your movements, thoughts, and dreams. You might be thinking it’s just a nice bottle but to water enthusiasts there’s characteristics to it that make up a vintage.

How Much is the Water Industry Worth?

The global water market size was USD 281.75 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach USD 489.07 billion by 2029. Growing at a constant annual growth rate of 7.1%, stringent regulations regarding industrial effluent treatment (treating & filtering water) drives demand for the water industry.

What’s the Most Expensive Water?

The most expensive bottle of water in the world sold for roughly $72,000. The water was sourced from France and Fiji, sold in a bottle designed by Fernando Altamirano (same designer as Cognac Dudognon Heritage Henri IV), and made of 24-carat solid gold.

If that bottle is a little rich for your tastes you can always pick up a bottle of water from Fillico, bottled in Osaka Japan. Prices generally range between $150-$400, however some bottles have sold for as much as $1000.

There’s an entire world of expensive bottle water out there from around world!

Why is it so expensive?

There’s a few main factors. First, water companies will tout the rare source of their water. For instance, Kona Nigari ($402/bottle) water is collected from a spring 2,000 meters under the sea which is said to contain “beneficial deep sea electrolytes.” They will look at how long the water has been underground or how long the rainfall cycle is. Second, many high-end bottles will come in fancy bottles, some made out of Swarovski crystal. Most importantly, it’s about marketing and how much hype can be built out of an absurdly priced bottle of water. However, most water enthusiasts push the health benefits of certain brands of water.

According to water sommelier, Martin Reise, the worst bottled water to buy is packaged in recycled plastic and completely filtered. The finest way to hydrate is “water mixed by nature”. As he outlines the best and worst waters to buy, and how the alkalinity of water affects the pH levels of your blood, one sees and hears expertise…with some eccentricity.

What in the World is a Water Sommelier?

Martin Reise, water sommelier

To first understand what a water sommelier is, one can imagine themselves in a 5-star restaurant, complete with a wine cellar and a “water cellar”.

When you enter the restaurant, the wonderful maître dei (host or steward) welcomes you and brings you to your quaint table.

The wine sommelier (whose main purpose is to sell some wine) comes to explain the wine selections from the establishment in regard to the chef’s main constructions of the day. Then, at certain establishments, the water sommelier arrives to introduce a fresh brook water from the Ozark mountains to cleanse the palate.

From pairing to proteins, and tannins to pH levels, these experts guide you in maximizing your dining experience as well as drinking to your health, in wine, and in H20.

Water sommeliers can affect the popularity of water, impacting the culinary field as they help chefs match brands, and branding.

How Does One Become Certified as a Water Sommelier?

At, you can become certified after a course of 80 training units over nine days. You will have to prove your acquired knowledge in four written and practical exams: all facets and areas of operation of a water sommelier. It’s the wine expert that comes to your table to pair you with your dishes correctly, tastefully, and appropriately, but for water.

Would Investing in Water Look Like?

Move Like Water

With the water industry on the rise, eccentric water sommeliers popping out of the woodworks, and $1,400 bottles of water available for sale, it’s time to look at the future of what businesses in water can be. In fine dining establishments, the addition of a water sommelier to the team would be a wise choice. For the public relations of an up-and-coming water company, a reputable water expert can sell vintage, pricey bottles to those in search of a higher quality source of water. With the rising popularity of bars solely focused on non-alcoholic beverages, why not kick it up a notch and offer water in competition to the high-end wine market?

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