Thursday, April 02, 2009

Coloradans fight to keep their water out of bottles

In the Western U.S., where water is often sparse, bottled-water companies are facing opposition as they try to tap local springs. In a scene replayed in communities across the country, residents in rural Chaffee County, Colo., are battling with Nestle Waters North America, which wants to bottle 65 million gallons of water from an aquifer near Salida, pop. 5,300, each year.

"I'm afraid they will pump and pump until they suck it dry," Michele Riggio, a Salida resident who has led the fight against Nestle, told DeeDee Correll of the Los Angeles Times. While Nestle says it plans to replace the water with water purchased from nearby Aurora, residents are skeptical, wondering what will happen if the area faces a drought. Opponents also say that the company's trucks will affect traffic on narrow mountain roads.

Nestle says the opposition is more philosophical than practical. "It's more a debate about corporations, who owns the water, and what is the best and highest use of water," said Bruce Lauerman, a natural-resources manager for the company. Noah Hall, professor at Wayne State University in Detroit and an expert in water law, told Correll that more communities are opposing such plans: "By the nature of its business--taking water out of the ground and putting it in a bottle and selling it--Nestle is a lightning rod for opposition wherever they go." (Read more)

1 comment:

Jamilla El-Shafei said...

I recently read an article that the State of Colorado was prohibiting the harvesting of rainwater for gardens yet the State is allowing a contract between Nestle and a community. Clearly, the State is enmeshed with the corporation and the citizens will pick up the tab in the end!!
In Maine we are passing "Rights-Based Ordinances" to thwart assaults by Nestle. Please visit the and read about how communities in Maine are protecting themselves. If the contract has not been signed it may not be too late. CALL the Community Legal Defense Fund immediately and go to their web site
Jamilla El-Shafei, organizer
Save Our Water
Kennebunk, Maine