You could sit at home and drink your own tap water, or you could visit Minneapolis' Water Bar and drink tap water in the company of others. Shanai Matteson hopes you'll choose the latter option. Yes, Minneapolis will soon be home to what UPI calls the world's first "full-fledged bar that will serve exclusively water products." But you can "cool it with the eye-rolling" and comments about "crazy hipsters," notes the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Water Bar will be an art installation and all water will be free. Back in 2014, Matteson and Colin Kloecker opened a pop-up water bar through which artists, water researchers, and other community members served tap water to more than 30,000 people in Minnesota, Arkansas, Illinois, and North Carolina. Water Bar will be a permanent extension of that project, though a GoFundMe page notes an opening date has not been set.
"Water is not something people think about, but we have potential water shortage problems and water quality problems," Matteson tells MinnPost. After tasting water in different areas, she says it became clear "where water isn't quite so abundant or where cities don't have the same level of treatment methods in place." Staffed by engineers, city employees, and environmental experts, Water Bar will be "a place to talk, to quench your thirst, to inquire, and to share personal stories and reflections," and sample different tap waters, according to the bar's website. The bar will also be combined with "an art sustainability studio and incubator, intended to build local projects with other artists and designers, all about water and environmental sustainability at the local level," Matteson says. (One business sells New York tap water for $2.50 a bottle.)