The Traditional Bled Water Festival

Responsibility to water

The traditional Bled Water Festival once again proved that it is an ideal platform for connecting public and private organisations with experts, politicians and the general public. Aquatic innovations inspired important domestic and foreign guests, while the round table came to the conclusion that the opportunities for progress are still ample, especially when it comes to the transfer of knowledge and the inclusion of young people. The best-tasting water in Slovenia 2018 award went to the source of Voje, where water is collected for the Kristal Hotel in Bohinj.

We live in the world that is getting more endangered and polluted each and every day. And we are not sufficiently aware of this fact as we take for granted many things given to us by Earth: drinking tap water, the lawn in front of the house, a wonderful waterfall on a trip on a Saturday, for example. We are surrounded by immense beauty that we don’t appreciate enough.“We would like to emphasize the values of natural goods, especially water; that is why we decided to create an international project with the topic of water,” were the words that marked the opening ceremony of the traditional Bled Water Festival, which took place on 7 and 8 June. Many domestic and foreign water experts, government organisation representatives, private sector representatives, hospitality industry representatives and artists were sitting in the audience. The highlights of the first festival day were the round table, entitled New Dimensions of Water, and the tasting of Slovenian water.

According to the Bled Water Festival non-profit organisation that organised the festival, the purpose of the festival is to award and connect various organisations, international experts, activists, film producers, the economy, politics, schools and the general public. Several revolutionary products, great ideas and examples of good practice were awarded at this year’s festival. Project submitters competed for awards such as most daring project in several categories, best environmental film, and best-tasting water in Slovenia. The Bled Water Festival organisers in collaboration with the Slovenian Diving Association (SPZ) also handed out the award for Best underwater environmental project.

Bled Water Festival Non-profit Organisation: “The main purpose of the project is to raise public awareness about water issues in Slovenia, as well as in other parts of the world, provide solutions and work on its development. For this purpose, we partnered with ministries for environment from Slovenia, Croatia and Serbia, and started with first regional awarding (2017): responsible towards water in several categories (corporate – all sizes, national projects, and individual projects). In the mentioned countries, we also started with regional competition in primary schools.”

The round table discussion about water

A round table entitled New Dimensions of Water focused on tap water and linked it to food and art. Whether Slovenia and foreign countries appreciate water and the actual value of water were the topics discussed by Dr Peter Frantar (Slovenian Environment Agency), Miha Murn (Atelje Art Murn International), Niko Slavinč (In Your Pocket), and representatives from the hospitality industry. They also discussed whether foreigners appreciate Slovenian water more than locals and local tourists do. The idea of adding a bottle of Slovenian water to menus and including it in the table charge remains the decision of each and every representative from the hospitality industry. Some of them will add it to their menus already this year.

The grand opening of the festival was followed by water tasting. It included tasting water from ten influential and highly-appraised Slovenian restaurants from several Slovenian regions. The best Slovenian source, which received the best-tasting water in Slovenia 2018 award, was the source of Voje, where water is collected for the Kristal Hotel in Bohinj.

Text by Vesna Žarkovič

Photo: Ana Kambič (Youth Parliament), Mihael Jožef Toman (Biotechnical Faculty), Matjaž Horvat (Petrol), Mitja Bricelj (MOP), Helene Masliah Gilkarov (ICPDR), Yogesh Joshi (AKSKAY), Adrijan Bakič (moderator), STA.