Photo via Wikimedia Commons
Photo via Wikimedia Commons

An initiative that would have taxed bottled water containing any water collected in California failed to receive enough signatures to qualify for the November ballot, the Secretary of State’s Office announced.

What author Louis J. Marinelli dubbed the “Groundwater Preservation and Water Consumer Awareness Act of 2015” would have imposed a five-cent tax on each ounce of bottled water containing any surface, underground, or municipal water collected in California.

The tax revenues generated would have funded construction and maintenance of water infrastructure projects including dams, levies, water treatment facilities, and desalination plants.

The initiative would have required each container of bottled California water sold in California to bear a statement and specific logo on its label identifying the product as “not drought friendly.”

Backers needed to submit valid signatures from 365,880 registered voters — 5 percent of the total votes cast for governor in the 2014 general election — by Dec. 21 to have qualified the measure for the ballot, according to Secretary of State Alex Padilla.

Marinelli told City News Service in June he authored this initiative “because I was concerned with what I consider to be one of the worst uses of bottled water in a country where access to potable drinking water is widespread.”

“There are few differences between the quality of tap water and the quality of bottled water except for taste,” Marinelli said. “Minerals are added to bottled water for taste and it says on the label.”

Marinelli said he exempted out-of-state water from the tax to “encourage Californians to purchase bottled water that comes from other states’ water supply.”

—City News Service

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