Starbucks selling California water amid drought
May 1, 2015
Amid the worst drought in California history, Starbucks is bottling California sourced spring water to sell in their coffee houses. [Time]
Ethos Water was founded in 2002 in Southern California with a promise to help battle global water issues. For every unit it sold, it would donate a small amount of money to water charity projects in the developing world.
In 2005, Starbucks purchased Ethos Water. Now, for every $1.95 bottle of Ethos water it sells, Starbucks makes a 5-cent donation to the Ethos Water Fund, part of the Starbucks Foundation. “When our customers choose to buy Ethos Water, they’re improving the lives of people who lack vital resources,” Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz said in 2008.
However, Starbucks pulls water from private springs in central California’s Placer County and also operates a factory further south in Merced, where it uses local water sources at its production facility. Merced is currently ranked in the “exceptional drought” category by the US Drought Monitor.
While public officials throughout California are asking residents to conserve water, companies such as Nestles, Safeway and Arrowhead Spring Water draw California ground water to ship to other states.