GOOD

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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Can Your Beach Vacation Make You Sick?

When I started visiting our Santa Monica office, I was thrilled to get up early (I was on East Coast time) and go down to the beach to body...

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When I started visiting our Santa Monica office, I was thrilled to get up early and go down to the beach to body surf. It was well worth braving the cold water, because sometimes I’d be joined by a dolphin or sea lion. My California colleagues, however, were not so enthusiastic about my morning swim. Polluted water from storm drains, they warned me, contaminated the beach in some places. Rashes, pinkeye, stomach bugs, respiratory infections, meningitis, hepatitis—any one of these can strike an unlucky beachgoer who gets into dirty water. In fact, researchers have estimated that across Southern California, anywhere from 600,000 to four million beachgoers come down with a gastrointestinal ailment each year.

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