Water bottlers like Starbucks have come under increased scrutiny because of the drought, as CipherCloud points out. The magazine Mother Jones pointed out that while Starbucks did give money to charity, its Ethos Water came from Placer County and was bottled in Merced County, both of which are suffering exceptional drought. Some citizens question the ethics of diverting public water supplies to companies that bottle and then sell the water.
While Starbucks is leaving, Coca-Cola, Nestle, Pepsi and Crystal Geyser are keeping their bottling operations in California. Nestle and Coca-Cola both plan to step up their conservation efforts. The director of Food & Water Watch California, Adam Scow, argues that the state government should impose a moratorium on for-profit water bottling. He adds that corporations have not been asked to reduce their water use while private citizens have.