Report: Bottled Water Companies Rely on "Predatory" Tactics for Sales
In its new report "Take Back the Tap," Food and Water Watch researchers look at the booming business of bottled water, which surpassed soda in sales in 2016.
The group finds nearly 64 percent of bottled water comes from municipal taps and that it cost almost 2,000 times as much as tap water and four times as much as gasoline.
Patty Lovera, food and water policy director with Food and Water Watch, says bottled water companies target demographics through advertising, especially immigrant communities.
"It is much more the norm in other countries where you have to go buy bottled water because the safety systems aren’t there for tap water,” says Lovera.
“That’s not the case in most American cities.
That’s pretty predatory to convince people they need to keep spending their hard earned money to do that and undermining people’s confidence in tap water."
Activists also have raised concerns that companies that do rely on groundwater are depleting people’s local water supplies and hurting the ecosystem.
In 2016, people in Cascade Locks voted to ban large bottling facilities.
"The governor weighed in and basically blocked a fairly complicated deal that would have let Nestle do a water transfer to get access to build a water facility in the Columbia River Gorge,” she says.
But she adds that it can be difficult to get support for this idea.