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700 Million Gallons of California Groundwater Isn't Enough for Nestlé

Leighton Woodhouse

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“Absolutely not. In fact, if I could increase it, I would,” said Nestlé Waters North America CEO Tim Brown  Wednesday on KPCC, when asked by NASA hydrologist Jay Famiglietti whether he would ever consider moving his water bottling operations out of drought-stricken California, like Starbucks is doing. By Brown’s estimate, Nestlé’s bottling business currently uses 700,000,000 gallons of California groundwater a year.

Nestlé isn’t the only company draining California’s aquifers and shipping the water out of state in the middle of a megadrought. In fact, as I reported here this week, the Crystal Geyser Water Company is getting ready to open up a brand new operation in Mount Shasta, at the headwaters of the Sacramento River. And, just down the road from the Crystal Geyser site, plans are being drawn up to build yet another, “boutique” water bottling plant on the site that Nestlé abandoned just six years ago, in the face of local opposition.

“People need to hydrate,” Brown argued on KPCC, and Nestlé is “delivering healthy hydration” in response to “consumer demand.”

If only there were an easy way to healthily hydrate with clean and well-regulated drinking water at 1/300 the price that Nestlé charges, and that didn’t produce .39 parts wastewater for every one part potable water, available at every kitchen sink.

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The Courage Campaign will hold rallies next Wednesday, May 20th, at 11a.m., in front of two Nestlé bottling facilities, at 8670 Younger Creek Dr., Sacramento, and 1560 E. 20th St., Los Angeles.

Sign up for Leighton Woodhouse’s email list on the drought at Land of Thirst.

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