Nine newspapers wax lyrical on ‘structured water’

We all know what water is – we drink it several times a day, use it to shower and also for other more unmentionable tasks. It is something without which we cannot live.

But the Nine newspapers — The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald — recently highlighted a variant of water which is apparently even better: structured water.

[Full disclosure before I go any further: I worked for The Age, a sister publication of the SMH, for nearly 17 years beginning in 1999. I was the online technology editor for both publications from May 2002 till December 2005.]

Both newspapers have a magazine on Sundays called Sunday Life. On 30 July, an article headlined “Better than tap? The science behind ‘structured water'” gushed: “We’re all familiar with water’s three phases — liquid, ice, and vapor — but some experts are talking about a fourth phase. The new kid on the block, they say, is structured water (also known as vortexed or hexagonal water, exclusion zone or H302), which has a gel-like form and is inside our cells.”

This, of course, is an unadulterated horseshit. There is only one form of water: the plain old H2O which every resident of this good old planet of ours consumers.

The author of this article, Joanna Webber, quoted Rob Gourlay, who was said to be an expert in biological research and water-structure science, as saying: “In nature, this water has a negative electromagnetic charge, but when it’s taken from its natural flowing state and stored in tanks, reservoirs or dams, it converts to a positive charge.

“For our cells to function at their best, we need to be drinking water that is coherent with cell charge or function. If not, your body must use more energy to convert the positive charge into a negative charge to support cell function.”

Gourlay is a Master of Applied Sciences who has been researching water for years. And he’s also a water diviner, the ABC’s weekly program Media Watch pointed out.

Gourlay owns a company called MEA — or magnetic, energised, activated water — which comes at a bargain $455 for two bottles with a golden top, host Paul Barry pointed out.

Webber, whom the ABC said was a content provider for women’s magazines, is now handling PR for Gourlay’s company – but neither The Age nor the SMH provided any disclosure on this point.

The article has now been removed but can be accessed through the Internet Archive and is well worth a read – if only to have a good laugh, something which is welcome in these troubling times.

But should anyone have been surprised that the SMH published such language? This, remember, is the same paper that wrote an editorial saying that tech firms could open “very small” encryption backdoors to enable government agencies to snoop on encrypted communications.

This incredible display of ignorance was only seen in the SMH, in an editorial to boot.

Nobody should be surprised at the level of ignorance in Australian media when it comes to science and technology. Those massive demonstrations by anti-vaxxers during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic more than prove this point.


Thoughtworks presents XConf Australia, back in-person in three cities, bringing together people who care deeply about software and its impact on the world.

In its fifth year, XConf is our annual technology event created by technologists for technologists.

Participate in a robust agenda of talks as local thought leaders and Thoughtworks technologists share first-hand experiences and exchange new ways to empower teams, deliver quality software and drive innovation for responsible tech.

Explore how at Thoughtworks, we are making tech better, together.

Tickets are now available and all proceeds will be donated to Indigitek, a not-for-profit organization that aims to create technology employment pathways for First Nations Peoples.

Click the button below to register and get your ticket for the Melbourne, Sydney or Brisbane event



Leave a Comment