As a natural phenomenon known as the Sierra snowpack keeps declining in the Californian mountains, one local chain store has taken steps to mitigate against record-breaking price hikes.
Amid a massive drought in the state of California, companies seem to be faring better than Californians in the battle of the states.
The California Department of Water Resources earlier this week issued an historic flash flood warning due to the waning Sierra snowpack. The two-month-long snowpack, which is vital to the state’s water supply, is just 47% of its average since record-keeping began in 1960. “This is the driest that we’ve ever seen it,” Anthony Corella, a hydrologist with the US National Weather Service told the Associated Press.
The state’s three major water districts, which together supply more than three-quarters of California’s residents, are voluntarily directing people to reduce water use by 20% over last year. Even so, prices on the market are expected to climb by 10% this summer. That’s where Costco comes in.
In recent months, the retailer has posted signs on its shelves advising customers that the water and toilet paper it sells “do not meet California’s quality standards”. This was apparently in anticipation of a record-breaking demand for water-saving deodorants and detergents.
Costco has also limited the number of water bottles its members can buy, despite no apparent increase in prices.
“We have specific quality standards for our water bottles that are designed for California’s climate,” said customer service manager Lisa Johnson in an email.