Know the Facts about California

Claim

We are draining California's water.

Facts

Even though Spring water is a renewable resource – its use needs to be managed responsibly.
Arrowhead® Brand Mountain Spring Water has been sustainably sourced and bottled from the springs in Strawberry Canyon, in what is now the San Bernardino National Forest, for more than 124 years. Our team of engineers, hydrologists, biologists, and geologists consistently monitors and cares for the springs and local environment.

We never collect more water than is naturally available, which means, if the environment yields less, we collect less. We diversify our collection among the springs we source from to avoid overreliance on any one spring, and to support long-term sustainability and healthy habitats.

We’re always working to improve the efficiency of our operations, not just in times of drought.
That is why we implement technologies in our factories to recycle water for cooling, as well as undertaking other water efficiency initiatives. Combined, these projects save millions of gallons of water per year across our five California factories.

We are working alongside other companies and NGOs to protect California's water future.
This includes being part of the California Water Action Collaborative, a coalition that brings environmentally focused NGOs together, such as The Nature Conservancy and The Pacific Institute, with other industry leaders to develop and support innovative conservation and restoration projects around the state.

In addition, we support, through product contributions and employee volunteer hours, local organizations such as Inland Empire Waterkeeper, The Nature Conservancy, Cucamonga Valley Water District, American River Parkway Foundation, the Southern California Mountains Foundation, and many more.

Our California factories were the first in North America to receive third-party water stewardship certification.
In 2017, our Ontario water bottling facility became the first site of any kind in North America to be certified according to the rigorous Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) Standard. In 2020, this factory once again led the charge becoming the first food and beverage factory in the world to earn AWS Platinum certification. We were also the first company of any type to achieve this advanced certification in North America.

To date, all of our California factories including Ontario, Sacramento, Livermore, Cabazon, and Los Angeles have been certified under the AWS Standard in the U.S., and these factories are now recertifying under v2.0 of the Standard. This is part of our 2018 pledge to certify all of its water bottling sites around the world by 2025.

Created by prominent environmental groups such as The Nature Conservancy and World Wildlife Fund, the AWS Standard is the first comprehensive global benchmark measuring responsible water stewardship across social, environmental, and economic criteria.

We work in local communities to protect and restore sources of drinking water.
Representatives from the Ontario factory meet frequently with local authorities and stakeholders to discuss shared water challenges and best practices in water stewardship. One result from these meetings led to a collaboration with a water agency to improve the resiliency of the local water supply. Since 2016, the Ontario Factory has been working closely with the Cucamonga Valley Water District to treat contaminated groundwater, enabling the district to generate up to 250 million gallons of potable water annually for the community, which is many times more than our annual spring water collections from Arrowhead Springs.

Claim

We are operating illegally at Arrowhead Springs on an expired permit.

Facts

On June 27, 2018, the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) renewed our existing special use permit (SUP).
The SUP became effective on August 24, 2018, and has a three-year term. This permit is for the right-of-way for the four-inch in diameter, stainless steel pipeline we use to transport water from the springs in San Bernardino National Forest. More information about our permit can be found here.

Claim

We have been ordered to stop withdrawing water from Arrowhead Springs.

Facts

The State Water Resources Control Board reaffirmed that we have rights to both groundwater and surface water at Arrowhead Springs.
In its initial report in December 2017, the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) staff acknowledged that we have valid surface water rights and groundwater rights totaling 49.5 million gallons of water per year. We have provided four reports to the SWRCB that clearly establish that we have not made any unauthorized water withdrawals. Importantly, our initial, second, third and fourth responses include supporting scientific, historic and legal materials that supports additional water rights.

Claim

We do not pay our fair share for water.

Facts

We hold senior water rights in California.
Like thousands of other companies, farms, and individuals, we hold water rights to a small number of water sources in California, including Arrowhead Springs. Our company and its predecessors have held senior water rights to use the water from Arrowhead Springs since the late 1800s — before the San Bernardino National Forest was created. Since statehood, Californians have bought and sold water rights just like other property rights. Holding water rights, rather than paying water usage fees, has been equated by some as a similar concept to owning a home rather than paying rent every year.

Claim

Bottled water is unnecessary.

Facts

Americans’ growing preference for bottled water has cut billions of calories out of the American diet.
Bottled water cannot, and will not, replace tap water – and we never expect it to. Bottled water does, however, play an important role in helping Americans stay hydrated at a time when more and more beverages are consumed away from home on the go. Americans have a growing preference for water – mineral, sparkling, flavored and still. Since 2017, the sales of individual-sized bottled water have surpassed sales of carbonated soft drinks.

That’s great news for the health of our country as billions of calories are being taken out of the American diet.

Bottled water is essential in times of natural disaster or other emergencies.
We know that bottled water is essential in times of natural disaster or other emergencies and recognize that, as a bottled water company, we have a role to play to help ensure communities have access to water. We frequently supply drinking water to local municipalities and first responders when tap water may be unavailable. When disaster strikes, we donate thousands of cases of bottled water to local communities to help provide safe drinking water. In California, from July 2017 through December 2020, we donated more than 4 million bottles of water to communities in need. This includes work we’ve done in collaboration with the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services to provide drinking water in times of crisis throughout the state, including more than 1.8 million bottles donated to the Paradise, California community in the wake of 2019’s Camp Fire.

Claim

We are encouraging a wasteful, throw-away culture by producing plastic bottles.

Facts

Bottled water containers make up less than 1% of municipal waste. 
But we all need to do more to make sure ALL plastic containers are recycled – from detergent containers to peanut butter jars to beverage bottles.

Bottled water has the lowest environmental footprint of any packaged beverage.
The bottling of water requires between two to eight times less water to produce than other packaged beverages.

Our plastic bottles are 100% recyclable – and we’re making them even better.
PET plastic, which we use to make most of our bottles, was never meant to be thrown away. It was designed to be captured, recycled, and reused again and again.

To help ensure this plastic is getting reused, we're working hard to increase the use of recycled PET plastic, or rPET, in our packaging. We’re proud to lead the industry in rPET use here in California. As demonstrated in our recent AB 2530 Plastic Beverage Container Virgin and Post-Consumer Resin Report, rPET constitutes 37% of the total volume of PET in the bottles sold last year in the state. In fact, all of our individual-sized Arrowhead® Brand Mountain Spring Water and Pure Life® Purified Water produced in California are made with 50% recycled plastic.

We supported the creation of the first recycled content standard for plastic beverage containers in the United States.
In 2020, the Calif. State Legislature passed Assembly Bill 793, which was then signed into law by the governor. The new law requires beverage companies to produce their products in increasingly higher percentages of post-consumer-recycled plastic. This percentage requirement will rise over time starting in 2022 where products, on average, must be manufactured with at least 15% post-consumer recycled content by 2022. This will increase to 25% post-consumer recycled content by 2025, and 50% post-consumer recycled plastic content by 2030.