Ever wonder where bottled water comes from? Lots of us are staying hydrated this summer with water from California, which is languishing in a record-breaking drought.
Bottling companies generally get their water from two sources, according to a Mother Jones article that maps where bottled water comes from. The first source is spring water — groundwater that's collected "at the point where water flows naturally to the earth's surface" or through boreholes that access it, according to the EPA.
Spring water acounts for just over 50 percent of the bottled water in the U.S, and the other half comes from the tap. That's right — Dasani and Aquafina, among other bottled water brands, just treat the stuff out of the faucet and bottle it up. So why guzzle from California's taps when it's drying up?
A lot of bottling companies happen to have set up shop in California, writes Mother Jones senior editorial fellow Julia Lurie. "You have to remember this is a 120-year-old brand," Jane Lazgin, a representative for Arrowhead told Lurie. "Some of these sources have long, long been associated with the brand."
In addition, California is the only state that doesn't regulate groundwater use. Even though 80 percent of the Golden State's water goes to agriculture, it's still "headscratching" that we would siphon away the dry state's drinking water, said Lurie.
Even Lazgin from Arrowhead agreed that from an environmental standpoint, "tap water is always the winner."
Consumer demand is the biggest driver behind bottled water — wherever it comes from. The industry produced about 10 billion gallons of bottled water in 2012 in the U.S., according to the International Bottled Water Association, with revenues at $12 billion.