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Bottled Water Companies Are Sucking up California's H20

Data on where the water in your plastic bottle comes from.


You'd think that considering California is the middle of one of the worst droughts on record—an emergency that has led to mandatory water rationing for some San Franciscans as well as residents of the East Bay—bottled water companies would find a different place to collect water. You know, some place with water?

You'd be mistaken. According to City Lab, Dasani, Aquafina, Arrowhead, and Crystal Geyser source the majority of their water from drought-stricken California. About 55 percent of the United States' bottled water comes directly from natural springs—the other part comes from municipal sources. (In both cases, it's coming from California.) That's right: Bottled water companies are taking tap water from a state that needs every drop it has, and selling it to consumer across the world. 

To review: We don't have enough of it, but what we do have is available to the public. So then private companies come in, take the water, wrap in plastic, and then sell it back to us at inflated prices. 

It could be worse—compared to our total water usage, bottled water is just a drop (GET IT?!?) in the bucket. 80 percent of California's water goes to agriculture. 

Read the whole story on City Lab.


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