PepsiCo bottling tapping into Falls Lake

February 20, 2008 7:22:58 AM PST
If you drink Pepsi's Aqaufina bottled water, it comes from Falls Lake. Now there's a push to cut back on all the bottling.

People who visit Falls Lake have a similar concern.

"I do a lot of fishing in this lake, and it's gonna be hard to forgo that for the summer," Doug Scott said.

Months of clear skies have taken a heavy toll and there's a growing concern weather isn't the only problem.

"They're [PepsiCo bottling] using over 400,000 gallons a day,"Durham City Councilman Eugene Brown said.

Brown is sounding off on Raleigh leaders, saying businesses like Pepsi are going unchecked as citizens are asked to conserve.

Pepsi bottles Aquafina with Falls Lake water.

"We may not even fill our public pools this summer," Brown said. "That takes about 100,000 gallons. We could fill four of our public pools in terms of what Pepsi uses for one day."

He says the water crisis is a regional issue that doesn't end at city borders. He's singled out Pepsi as the sixth largest user of Raleigh water. Pepsi responded with the following statement.

"It's grossly inaccurate in terms of the amount of water that we use to produce Aquafina," Keith Reimer, C.E.O. Pepsi, said.

Pepsi wouldn't say how much water it believes it uses.

In Raleigh, some city council members seemed to agree with Brown.

"They have not been asked to step up to the plate, and we need to ask them to step up to the plate, and it wouldn't hurt if they volunteered," said Rodger Koopman, Raleigh City Council member.

It's a call for everyone to step up before the water crisis gets worse.

"I know we're doing our best to conserve and I think we're doing a reasonably good job," Scott, avid fisher, said. "And I hope the businesses would contribute their fair share too."

Falls Lake is lower than it has been in years. Right now the boat launch can't be used.


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