America is one thirsty country. The U.S. consumes 322 billion gallons of water every single day, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The most, 133 billion gallons, goes to thermoelectric power. Next is irrigation at 118 billion gallons a day. The last big category is the 39 billion gallons of water that go to personal consumption. That’s the stuff that cooks the pasta and wets the washcloths and cleans the car tires and pours down the drains of millions of showers, sinks and toilets every second of every day. And the following is just one little drop in that great, big bucket.
In the early 1990s, most bottled water came from small, regional companies. In the ensuing years, control of the market has become concentrated among just a few giant corporations. Today, No. 1 Aquafina and No. 2 Dasani each do more than $1 billion in sales.