Water Wars

Nestlé’s Water Wars

In the state of Maine, where Nestle is currently paying for land in which water springs are found, 500 million gallons of water is being bottled from a bottling company called Poland Spring, which is owned by Nestle. Owning six of the 10 top bottling brands, Nestle is the largest bottling company in the U.S. James Wilfong had a new idea about water. Maine only has about 1.2 million citizens, but it has at least 25 trillion gallons worth of drinkable water in it’s springs lakes and aquifers. Wilfong, who was a former state legislater, decides that the water shouldn’t be free and that the state should receive a percentage.  So he proposed a tax on large water bottling companies, and is set for a ballot referendum. Maine is one of the few states challenging the $10 billion U.S bottled water industry, and is declaring that the water is not free.

Nestle, using 500 million gallons of water, would owe a theoretical $96 million each year if Wilfong’s proposal were to be passed. In response the said proposal, Nestle would cancel a plan of building plant, costing the state up to 250 jobs.

Michigan, however, is facing similar problems. Having 250 million gallons of water bottled near the small town of Stanwood, the state has been alarmed by the increasing rate of underground water levels dropping.  The Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation has filed a lawsuit for the dangerously increasing extraction of groundwater, while Nestle claims the amount is healthy. The state legislature is considering 16 bills to limit the amount of groundwater being extracted, but  in a similar battle against the state of Florida, Nestle has prevailed.

On the other hand, some states have decided to make a profit out of their wells and springs. A rural town like Vanleer, Tennessee is currently hosting a water-bottling company called BlingH2O, which sells for an approximate $240 a case wholesale.

 

Resource information:

http://content.time.com/time/classroom/glenspring2006/pdfs/WarontheWaterFront.pdf

 

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