Believe it or not, Wal-Mart gets its bottled water from drought-ridden California. The company sources the water for its “Great Value” brand from Sacramento’s municipal water supply, according to labeling on the gallon jugs, CBS Sacramento reports.
Petitioners opposed to Wal-Mart’s water practices have already collected 11,000 signatures demanding that the company go elsewhere.
Sacramento sells its water to DS Services of America, which bottles it and sells it to Wal-Mart and a number of other retailers across California. Wal-Mart buys about 10% of the water DS Services of America sells. Other customers include large California grocers like Safeway.
This seems rather peculiar considering that California residents are facing mandatory water rationing. Gov. Jerry Brown recently signed an executive order calling for a 25% reduction in urban water usage statewide.
“It’s certainly leaving a bad taste in everyone’s mouth when you can’t fill up a swimming pool, if you’re building a new home in West Sacramento; you can’t water your lawn if you’re living in this region. And to find out they’re making a huge profit off of this, it’s just not right,” public-relations expert Doug Elmets told CBS Sacramento.
Starbucks also recently came under fire for sourcing its Ethos bottled water from California. The company responded by finding a new supply after a public backlash.
Wal-Mart spokesman John Forrest Ales told Business Insider that the company was “very concerned” about how the drought was affecting customers and associates.
“We share those concerns and are tracking it closely,” Ales said. “Our commitment to sustainability includes efforts to minimize water use in our facilities. We have and continue to work with our suppliers to act responsibly while meeting the needs of customers who count on us across California.”