Popular brands like Aquafina and Dasani source from catastrophically dry parts of the West.
—By Julia Lurie
| Mon Aug. 11, 2014 6:00 AM EDT
Bottled-water drinkers, we have a problem: There’s a good chance that your water comes from California, a state experiencing the third-driest year on record.
The details of where and how bottling companies get their water are often quite murky, but generally speaking, bottled water falls into two categories. The first is “spring water,” or groundwater that’s collected, according to the EPA, “at the point where water flows naturally to the earth’s surface or from a borehole that taps into the underground source.” About 55 percent of bottled water in the United States is spring water, including Crystal Geyser and Arrowhead.
The other 45 percent comes from the municipal water supply, meaning that companies, including Aquafina and Dasani, simply treat tap water—the same stuff that comes out of your faucet at home—and bottle it up. (Weird, right?)
But regardless of whether companies bottle from springs or the tap, lots of them are using water in exactly the areas that need it most right now.