In the midst of the California drought — when people are asked to conserve water and farmers face ever-increasing irrigation costs, a bottled water company pays less than $2,000 annually to extract millions of gallons of water from the San Bernardino National Forest.
The spring water flows down a mountain through tunnels, boreholes, and a 4.5-mile pipeline into a tank. Then it is trucked away, bottled, and marketed as Arrowhead 100% Mountain Spring Water, The Los Angeles Times reports.
“They’re sucking out so much water,” says Amanda Frye, an environmental activist. “Imagine if all the springs were just allowed to naturally flow. We’d have a lot of water in here.”
Incredibly, the federal government doesn’t charge the company a dime for the water. But there is a $1,950 annual fee for allowing the water collection infrastructure on federal land.
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