The $60 billion global bottled water industry has grown rapidly in recent years. To keep up with the expanding market, corporations are looking for new water sources. Once they identify good or easy targets, they come into communities, bottle their water, slap a corporate logo on it and sell it to stores across the country. The profits are great and the resource is cheap. The corporations benefit. The communities don’t.
Why would any town go along with such a bad proposal? Because corporations promise to promote economic development by creating jobs – a prospect that is understandably alluring for many economically depressed areas.
But public officials should think twice before buying into corporations claims of job creation. In reality, bottling water creates relatively few new jobs for community members. What’s more, the jobs the industry does create are not what families need: They are low-paying and dangerous.