A public interest group is urging state agencies in Minnesota to stop using bottled water.
Corporate Accountability International is running a campaign called "Think Outside the Bottle." Spokeswoman Lucy Midelfort said a recent study found Minnesota spends much more money on bottled water than four other states that also have good tap water.
"The report found that Minnesota spends $475,000 [per] year on bottled water," Midelfort said. "At a time where our public water systems are facing a $24 billion annual shortfall, we really can't afford to be spending public dollars on such a non-essential use of our most essential public resource."
The group is calling on Gov. Pawlenty to direct more state money to public water system infrastructure, and less to bottled water.
"State money should go for really essential uses, and in these tough economic times it doesn't make any sense to be spending this money on bottled water," she said.
Other states in the study were Maryland, Colorado, New Mexico, and Oregon.
The group says the nation needs to invest $22 billion a year in water systems.