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Nestle Waters

Nestlé’s Water Bottling Operations in Hot Water

Nestle WatersActivists are petitioning the California Water Resources Control Board to shut down Nestlé’s water bottling operations in the state.

More than 135,000 people have signed a petition, created by the California-based Courage Campaign, which comes as Gov. Jerry Brown this week issued the first-ever statewide mandatory water reductions with California in its fourth year of drought.

A Nestlé spokesperson says the company’s 2014 water use in California was about equal to the annual average watering needs of two golf courses in the state. “Shutting down a bottled water plant would appreciatively not make a big difference in the amount of water being used,” says spokesperson Jane Lazgin says, who adds the company is concerned about the drought and is doing its part to conserve the natural resource. “Our plans are to be as efficient as possible in our water use and to provide people with a healthy product that they want.”

The activist group says Nestlé extracts water from California specifically for its Arrowhead and Pure Life brands, and bottles its product from at least a dozen natural springs. It says one such bottling plant is located on a Native American reservation “in one of California’s most drought-stricken areas that is exempt from oversight by local water agencies.”

Lazgin says the company does have natural springs across the state and says the facility on tribal lands is subject to oversight by the tribe.


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4 thoughts on “Nestlé’s Water Bottling Operations in Hot Water


  2. I agree people should use a drinking fountain or the water dispenser on their refrigerator door when thirsty. But the reality is that a lot of people like “single serve” beverages – whether it’s a bottle of water or a Coca-Cola.

    If bottled water is not available, folks will simply buy something else. As bad as it is for the environment, bottled water bottles still uses less plastic than soft drink bottles, and consumes far less energy and resources to produce than other single serve beverage choices.

    Bottom line is that folks should stop buying single serve beverages. Period. If you can’t stop, then water is a better choice over other single serve beverage choices.

  3. It is a mischaracterization to say that bottled water “consumes far less energy and resources to produce than other single serve beverage choices”.
    By far the most energy-intensive step in the bottled single-serve beverage industry is the energy cost of transportation. All other energy inputs to the process pale in comparison to it. After all, stop to consider the thousands (tens of thousands? hundreds?) of local delivery trucks plying our streets to deliver all those bottles to the point of sale. And in the case of bottled water, all that energy is being wasted, to deliver a product that is already available to the consumer via the existing municipal water distribution infrastructure. So, bottled water is not a significantly better choice than any other bottled beverage.
    The real bottom line is that, yes, “folks should stop buying single serve beverages”. But to retain the convenience of a personally transportable beverage, they should simply choose to bring with them their own reusable water bottle – and re-fill it with their own filtered tap water from home. I and probably millions of other people already do that – and it saves me considerable money as well as being better for the environment. How many dollars for a commercial bottle of water? Versus how many cents for my own bottle re-filled at home?

  4. These 135,000 petitioners are the type that give environmentalists a bad name. Nestlé is breaking no law and is simply doing business as usual so to single out them is not only silly but a waste of time.

    If these petitioners really want to make a difference, instead of targeting Nestlé they should start a recall of both the governor and key members of the California legislature for failure to pass or even propose legislation that would make California’s agricultural interests pay a market-based rate for water use which would, of course, pretty much put them out of business and force them to leave the state.

    Tough to swallow? You bet but hey, that’s what you get when you have unsustainable agricultural practice on large-scale basis over many decades

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