Starbucks Moves Ethos Water Sourcing Out of California Due to Drought

PHOTO: Starbucks is finding a source for Ethos Water outside of Calif., because of the drought.Getty Images
Starbucks is finding a source for Ethos Water outside of Calif., because of the drought.

Starbucks said it's moving quickly to find a new source for its water subsidiary due to the four-year drought in California.

"Due to the serious drought conditions and necessary water conservation efforts in California, Starbucks is moving the sourcing and manufacturing of Ethos Water out of state," Starbucks said in a statement.

The company said it plans to move production to its supplier in Pennsylvania starting this week over the next six months "while simultaneously exploring alternatives to transition to a new source and supplier to serve the company’s West Coast distribution." On Tuesday, California regulators approved additional water cutbacks that include requiring certain cities to cut water use by as much as 36 percent compared to that of 2013.

In 2005, Starbucks acquired Ethos Water, which donates 5 cents for each bottle sold to the a fund that supports water and sanitation programs in countries such as Tanzania, Colombia and Indonesia.

Starbucks said it has decreased its water usage in California by 26 percent since 2008 through green building and water conservation practices.

“We are committed to our mission to be a globally responsible company and to support the people of the state of California as they face this unprecedented drought,” said John Kelly, Starbucks senior vice president of global responsibility and public policy said in a statement. “The decision to move our Ethos water sourcing from California and reduce our in-store water reductions by more than 25 percent are steps we are taking in partnership with state and local governments to accelerate water conservation.”

PHOTO: Low water levels are visible at Lake Oroville near the Bidwell Bar Bridge on May 7, 2015 in Oroville, Calif. Getty Images
Low water levels are visible at Lake Oroville near the Bidwell Bar Bridge on May 7, 2015 in Oroville, Calif.

A spokeswoman for Starbucks declined to comment further.