According to a report from Sacramento CBS affiliate, Walmart has been bottling its water from a Sacramento water district during California's historically devastating drought-- and it's making a grotesquely large profit off of it.
CBS 13's Adrienne Moore reports:
Sacramento sells water to a bottler, DS Services of America, at 99 cents for every 748 gallons—the same rate as other commercial and residential customers. That water is then bottled and sold at Walmart for 88 cents per gallon, meaning that $1 of water from Sacramento turns into $658.24 for Walmart and DS Services.
For comparison, the city of Sacramento says the average family uses 417 gallons of water a day.
The news comes shortly after California Governor Jerry Brown signed an executive order mandating a one-quarter reduction in urban water use state-wide.
Starbucks recently was criticized for bottling its Ethos water in drought-stricken California -- so it stopped. Walmart would be wise to adopt the same policy.
"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," said public relations expert Doug Elmets. "And to find out they're making a huge profit off of this, it's just not right."
A spokesperson from Walmart said the company is "tracking [the drought] closely."
"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."