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Bottled water on track to outsell soda by 2017

A worker inspects bottles of water at a Nestle Waters plant.
Kevin Van Passen | Bloomberg | Getty Images

People need it, people drink it, and now more and more people are thirsty enough to pay for it.

Bottled water sales volume grew at a rate of 7 percent in the U.S. last year to put it on pace to outsell soda by 2017, according to forecasts from Beverage Marketing, first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

That's not necessarily all bad news for Coca-Cola and Pepsi, who offer their own bottled water brands Dasani and Aquafina, though it's not an ideal trend. The wholesale gallon price of water fell 25 percent over the last decade compared to a 33 percent rise in soda prices, the Journal reported citing data from Beverage Marketing. Still, more brands continue to pour into a market to sell a product most people can get for free.

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The bottled water industry has not grown without controversy. Most recently, a group of activists and community members sued water bottler Crystal Geyser for allegedly attempting to push through plans to pump from a drought-parched California aquifer.

You can read the full report from the Wall Street Journal.