This means a glass of water is not just a glass of water, and each of these components modifies the flavour to some extent.

People drinking water in Winton have to put up with the strong sulphurous odour from their artesian bores. This affects the flavour, but even within the town there are variations depending on which bore the water comes from.

The water from processing plants has small amounts of added chlorine, which imparts a slight acidic taste.
According to US research, the water we prefer to drink is affected by personal experience. People tend to like the taste of the water they grew up with.

You’d think the best-tasting water would be perfectly pure Dihydrogen Monoxide, but no, it tastes terrible. Those who’ve sampled ultra-pure water used in labs say it’s flat, lifeless and somewhat acidic.

On top of that, it’s not even very good for you. It’s so pure that it draws minerals out of your body which you need for good health.

The question of whether water has flavour was studied at the University of California where scientists identified a gene that appears to be responsible for the ability of fruit flies to taste water. Fruit flies with that gene removed drank less of it.

In Australia we’re accustomed to having fresh, clean drinking water available from taps all day every day. Yet there are many millions around the world for whom this is impossible. We show our appreciation by buying it in plastic bottles instead.

Response: Rod Taylor, Fuzzy Logic.

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