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Nestlé Keeps Bottling California’s Water Despite Drought


4937674835_d11439fc19_zThe drought in California has gradually become worse over the past few years, yet companies bottling drinking water continue to unprecedently pump out and make money out of the precious limited resource.

For quite some time now, the first thing that comes to people’s minds when they hear the word “California” is “drought“. The condition in the sunny state is seen as the worst in over a century, threatening agriculture and wildlife, while putting enormous pressure on the limited water resources in the region. The state is becoming known for its super high fines for everyone, who breaches the regulations for water usage.

Interestingly, while local government and citizens are exploring every possible source, even reaching out to prehistoric aquifers, one of the world’s most famous water bottling companies- Nestlé Waters North America, seems to have no trouble drying out the streams in the national forest in the region, placing it in plastic bottles, and selling them off.

According to a recent report based on an independent investigation, Nestlé has the right to extract the water from the national park, but their permit to transport it to their bottling plant apparently expired back in 1988. The company has promised to monitor possible impact on the environment, and they have been asked to submit annual reports on water usage. However, the Forest Service has never conducted a proper check on how much water is actually being taken out, nor have they assessed the environmental impact of the pipelines on the wildlife.

Not to be devil’s advocate or anything, but Nestlé is doing business, while no one is interested in questioning them, leave alone stopping them from doing so. Indeed, if proper monitoring of the company’s actions is not performed, then I guess there is no way to prove that they are doing anything wrong (although it is blatantly obvious, I know!).  Maybe it is about the right time for the authorities to do something, isn’t it?

Of course, we are all to blame in one way or another. Taking no action means that we all agree and happily accept what is going on, and sitting and waiting for the government to do something is equally irresponsible.

We can all do something. To start with, think twice before we reach for that plastic bottle on the supermarket shelf. It really does not take too much effort to have a reusable bottle in the bag, and refill it from the tap every time possible. If we all do it, it might put a full-stop to that highly unsustainable and unjustified business of bottling water.

There is no such thing as an unlimited drinking water supply, and the sooner we all realize it, the better.

Image (c) David Vosti/Flickr

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