California Drought 2014

California’s Bottled Water A Drought Problem? Nestle Denies, Walmart ‘Exposed’

In 2015, California’s drought has only worsened, and now California’s bottled water companies are coming under fire for supposedly contributing to the drought conditions. Nestle outright denies there is an issue at all, and some say Walmart’s bottled water needs to be yanked from the shelves even though the retail giant has been silent about the potential problem.

In a related report by the Inquisitr, the Starbucks mini frapp was created as a (relatively) healthier version of their frappucino in response to obesity issues in America. They have also attempted to be eco-friendly since their Starbucks Ethos brand bottled water will no longer be pulled from California and instead they are shifting over to Pennsylvania.

In California, bottled water companies insist that they have done nothing to make a dent on California’s drought problems.

“I know some believe that drought conditions should bring the bottling of water to an end,” said Tim Brown, CEO of Nestle Waters North America, according to the San Bernardino County Sun.

“Experts on water use who have studied the issue have recognized, however, that bottled water is not a contributing factor to the drought… Nestle Waters operates five California bottling facilities, using a total of 705 million gallons of water per year. To put that amount in perspective, this is roughly equal to the annual average watering needs of two California golf courses.”

Nestle is not alone. Aquafina, Crystal Geyser, Arrowhead, and Dasani also sell bottled water pulled from municipal water supplies in drought-stricken California. The Walmart Great Value brand for bottled water also uses California as its source, and some say the big retailer needs to lead by example.

“It’s a bad move and they need to correct it and they need to do it quickly,” public relations expert Doug Elmets told CBS 13. “The reaction should be immediate. And that is to find another supplier outside of California.”

In response, Walmart issued a statement which said, “We have and continue to work with our suppliers to act responsibly while meeting the needs of customers who count on us across California.”

The International Bottle Water Association (IBWA) claims that California’s bottled water is a drop in the bucket in comparison to other ways the water is used within the state.

“Bottled water accounts for less than 0.01% of all the water used in the United States each year…. And, bottled water uses only 0.02% of the all the water used in California every year. Put into context, in 2014, total annual U.S. bottled water consumption was 10.9 billion gallons. Los Angeles goes through that amount of tap water in a little over three weeks.”

According to the UCLA Institute for Environment and Sustainability, agriculture uses almost 80 percent of the water at 8.6 trillion gallons per year, while urban residential use is about 13 percent at 2.4 trillion gallons per year. California’s bottled water companies are estimated to use 2.6 billion gallons a year.

California Bottled Water Drought Chart[Image via CBS, Google Images]

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