What Water Bars Mean for Water Wars

Treating a natural, life-sustaining resource like a luxury item can’t end well

Photo via Flickr user Patrick McFall

Last year, Ray’s and Stark Bar, a high-end bistro at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, debuted a 42-page menu of gourmet waters. More recently, squinting through the obliterating heat of a long, dry summer, the museum courtyard presented a prismatic scene: blinding white walls giving way to chilled and darkened galleries, a faint outline of haze rising from the neighboring Tar Pits, and, in the restaurant, jeweled decanters of water collected from the most untouched areas of the world, glinting from shelves behind the bar.

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