Aesthetic issues for drinking water

Although many people expect their drinking water to be “flavorless”, natural and processed
drinking waters have flavors due to minerals and organics in the natural water, inputs from any
step of water processing or transport, and interaction of these chemicals with individuals’
nose and mouth. Since people can detect the flavor of water, the idea has been proposed that
drinking water consumers be considered as sentinels who monitor water quality. This paper
explores specific sensory components of drinking water, how humans perceive their drinking
water, and future directions for aesthetic research that can better explain the causes of and
treatments for tastes and odors in drinking water and the human factors that make water a
desirable beverage.