by Felipe Fuentes and Mark Schlosberg,

AB 301 would give Californians the right to know how much of their communities’ water is being bottled for sale and where that bottled water comes from. With water scarcity being a top concern, this modest bill is an important step towards better managing our water.

Currently in California, there are over 100 bottled water facilities, some operating in parched areas of the state including Los Angeles, Riverside, and San Diego Counties. About half of water that is bottled comes from municipal sources at the same time that companies then sell essentially the same product we get from our tap back to us for up to a thousand times the cost.

In other areas of California, bottlers seek water from springs that are critical to the health of the local environment including creeks and lakes. Overdrawing on these resources can impact the entire community and the environment. In either case, the community has the right to know how water is being used in order to properly manage community resources.

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