Walmart and water bottlers criticized for selling California's scarce water

Walmart under fire for selling bottled water ... 01:41

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Water bottle companies are facing criticism for selling bottles of water that are filled from municipal water supplies in California - a state where water is scarce due to a severe drought.

Walmart is the latest company to be scrutinized. The company says its Great Value bottled water comes from Sacramento's city water supply. A supplier buys it from Sacramento and sells it to Walmart and other companies.

Walmart isn't alone: Aquafina, Crystal Geyser, Arrowhead, and Dasani also sell bottled water drawn from municipal water supplies in drought-stricken California.

California residents have been asked to abide by strict water restrictions, leading some to wonder why it's okay for companies to make big profits from bottled water that, in some cases, is taken right from the tap.

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However, according to the California water board, bottled water companies use 2.6 billion gallons of the water supply every year. That's a drop in the bucket compared to city residents who use 2.4 trillion gallons, and agriculture which uses 8.6 trillion gallons.

The companies say they're monitoring the water situation and will adjust if necessary. But there is a perception problem. Starbucks recently decided to move its bottled water operation out of the state to Pennsylvania.

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    Ben Tracy is a CBS News White House correspondent based in Washington, D.C.