According to certified water sommelier Martin Riese, of the 326 million, trillion gallons of water on planet earth, less than 3% is freshwater that we can drink. More than two-thirds of that is locked up in glaciers and not accessible. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

“We need to think about water and how we engage with water on a daily basis,” the sommelier told the crowd, at a recent water tasting event to launch the Hydration Station by Martin Riese at downtown L.A.’s Be DTLA wellness residential building.

“The average person in the U.S. uses about 101.5 gallons of direct water per day,” continues Riese. “A 10-minute shower at 2 gallons a minute takes 20 gallons, six to eight toilet flushes per day translates to 10 to 24 gallons, and we consume about a gallon a day. Indirect water used for agriculture can use about 660 gallons to produce one hamburger and it takes 23.11 gallons of water to produce 1.5 gallons of soda. That translates into 120 water bottles, so you’re doing the planet a better service by just drinking bottled water. Bottled water has the least impact on the environment than all other bottled beverages on the planet.”

Reise started as an apprentice at the Relais & Châteaux Hotel Stadt Hamburg in  northern Germany. In 2010, he was certified as a Mineral Water Sommelier from the German Mineral Water Trade Association, and wrote the book World of Water. In 2013, he unveiled a signature water program at Ray’s & Stark Bar at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and in 2014 at the Patina Restaurant in the Walt Disney Concert Hall. Most recently, he curated the water menu at Fellow, which includes a selection of seven carefully chosen still choices and five sparkling varieties from around the world, including France, Spain, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom. They are listed in order of TDS (total dissolved solids, meaning the amount of minerals and salts), which determines the diverse flavors of bottled water.

So what do you look for when purchasing a bottle of water?

Read the label. Just because Jennifer Aniston is next to the bottle doesn’t really mean it’s smart; it’s just boiled tap water. Don’t look for the brand, look for the source. Sixty percent of plastic bottled water is purified tap water – that includes the electrolyte versions, which just means salt has been added.

Riese is a strong believer in filtration systems at home, which produces the same thing and cuts down on bottles, which have an impact on the environment as well. They have to be produced and shipped. Make sure it’s labeled spring or mineral water, preferably in glass bottles and not processed distilled or purified city tap water. You can make that yourself at home.  

The Hydration Station by Martin Riese at the wellness apartment community will offer a rotating selection of curated water menus by the pool for residents. 

“Even prior to COVID, my vision has been to provide a first-of-its-kind wellness apartment community that redefines residential living, a centrally located environment that emphasizes healthy minds, bodies, spirits and fun,” the property’s founder Behzad Souferian tells L.A.Weekly, who says it’s time to rethink apartment living according to wellness. “From touchless products and features in the common areas to wellness programs that promote vitality, we are on a mission to create a conscious apartment community that makes its residents feel at home.”

Here are some of Riese’s domestic water recommendations and pairings:

Proud Source from Idaho 

 Comes from Mackay, a small old mining town. 

After the mining period, the town was struggling, until they discovered their amazing spring source water. 

TDS of 166.

Smooth and nicely balanced water, great for salads and light fish dishes.


Crazy Water from Texas


Comes from the Mineral Wells in Texas, an old traditional spring source. 

Crazy water has three different minimality versions, based on the different mineral wells. 

Crazy No.2 – TDS 685, Rich-tasting water, great mouthfeel, nice for roasted fish dishes

Crazy No.3 – TDS 1369, Hint of saltiness in the aftertaste, great for barbecue, steaks, etc.

Crazy No.4 – TDS 2763, Strong mineral taste (forget sport drinks loaded with sugar), this water is great for the gym, tons of electrolytes.


Waiakea from Hawaii


Comes from a small town of Hilo, Hawai.

Volcanic filtration, TDS 82, light and crisp in taste, great for sushi.


Mountain Valley Springs from Arkansas


Old traditional water from Ouachita Mountains in Arkansas.

TDS 220, fresh taste, no hint of saltiness, stays long on the palate. 

Perfect pairing to poached fishes and fresh fruit. 

Besides its regular glass bottles, it offers 5-gallon glass containers for home delivery…very cool.


LA Weekly