A small Japanese company has struck unlikely gold off the shores of Hawaii in the form of pristine seawater drawn from 2,000 feet beneath the ocean's surface.
Koyo USA Corporation, which bottles and then ships its produce to Japan, where consumers are lapping it up as the most nutritious and purest natural drink found on the planet, has ambitious plans. This month it opened a "water bar" in Waikiki, on Big Island, exclusively to sell its high-priced MaHoLo desalinated water.
Hardly cheap, the water sells in Japan for about £3 a bottle, but Koyo executives insist it's worth it. Because it comes from such great depths in the ocean, the water is described not only as being free of all pollutants but also older, supposedly, than Jesus Christ.
Such is the popularity of the water that Koyo is rushing to expand its plant on a site originally developed by a state body to create energy from mixing hot and cold seawater. That project failed so Koyo now decants the water into 300,000 bottles a day. Once its expansion is completed, it will boost capacity to a million bottles a day.
Meanwhile, the seawater rush is providing an unexpected export boon for Hawaii, which has seen its traditional pineapple and sugar industries crushed by world competition. Officials predict that desalinated seawater will soon become the state's fifth most important export.
"It happens to be one of the purest available on the earth," Yutaka Ishiyama, sales manager for Koyo, said. The claim that it is more ancient than Christ looks, however, to be bit far-fetched. Marine biologists believe currents at 2,000 feet carry melted ice seawater from Greenland to the northern Pacific and back in about 2,000 years. So the water off Hawaii could be 1,000 years old.Reuse content