Nestlé Is Worsening The California Drought With Illegal Bottled Water

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Arrowhead bottled water is not a company in and of itself. Arrowhead bottled water is one product from Nestlé, the world’s largest multinational food and drink processing conglomerate. And Nestlé is making this year’s California drought and fire season a hell of a lot worse by using 25 times the amount of water they’re legally allowed to use, pumping the San Bernardino National Forest dry and then just straight up selling the shit.

The California State Water Resources Control Board sent Nestlé a cease and desist letter last week, demanding they drastically cut back the amount of water they’re using. It’s not just the ethical issues of using California’s water resources for profit, but it’s also that Nestlé is illegally using more than 50 million gallons of water per year than it is allowed to use.

Nestlé does have some legal water rights to this water, thanks to a 1909 contract with the Arrowhead Drinking Water Co. (which did once exist as a company, and was acquired by Perrier in 1987, and then Nestlé acquired Perrier in 1992). The 1909 contract decreed that Arrowhead could use seven train cars a week of that water. Nestlé had always said that  train cars from that era could hold 15,000 gallons, but a new report from the Water Resources Control Board says that number is far tinier. 

According to a report in The Guardian, Nestlé has been using “25 times as much water as it may have a right to.” They’re currently guzzling up nearly 60 million gallons of water per year.

The company Nestlé does not consider water a basic human right. Their previous CEO complained publicly about people “who bang on about declaring water a public right. That means that as a human being you should have a right to water. That’s an extreme solution. The other view says that water is a foodstuff like any other, and like any other foodstuff it should have a market value. Personally, I believe it’s better to give a foodstuff a value so that we’re all aware it has its price.”

We will probably be asked to exercise water conservation this summer, a reasonable request considering what’s probably coming. But no amount of individual behavior can offset what Nestlé is doing illegally, as that company is becoming the new PG&E of California droughts and wildfires.   



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Joe Kukura- Millionaire in Training

Joe Kukura- Millionaire in Training

Joe Kukura is a two-bit marketing writer who excels at the homoerotic double-entendre. He is training to run a full marathon completely drunk and high, and his work has appeared in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal on days when their editors made particularly curious decisions.