Nestle continues to take from California’s drought

Junnette Caldera, Staff Writer

During the fourth year of California’s drought, there is still a remarkable amount of California water being bottled. According to the International Bottled Water Association there is about 3.1 billion gallons of water being bottled in California annually. Nestle to be exact has been bottling approximately 725 million gallons.            Therefore posing a huge problem with our California residence.

Californians are questioning the authority of the governor’s mandatory water restrictions. Why should the people of California suffer the loss of water, when Nestle is continuing to make profit from their bottling companies? According to the Business Insider, Nestle has been drawing water from an area North of Palm Springs for more than 30 years without a renewal of their permit to transport water since 1988.

The people of California are outraged. Protesters are holding signs just outside of Nestle plants demanding the stop of bottling water in California.

An interview was conducted in May with CEO Tim Brown with KPCC. Brown guarding the name of his company Nestle, stated “If I stop bottling water tomorrow, people would buy a different brand of bottled water.” Then adding an astonishing remark, “In fact, if I could increase bottling, I would.”

While protestors aggrieved, they have continued to gain signatures of a petition to stop bottled water in California with 500,000 signatures thus far.

California is at its worst drought in history and so many companies are bottling public resources. The state is in dire need of water supply and companies like Nestle, Dasani, Arrowhead, etc. are bottling it like we’re not going through a vast change within our climate, let alone a drought, pocketing private money for their own benefit and not thinking about the environmental impacts.

Although, they make a fine point that their bottled water is only a small fraction of what the state actually uses, once again, water is scarce and a “public resource.” It is very controversial to say that the water that is being bottled is only a tiny fraction when it ultimately makes a bigger effect.

Also, reported by David Dayen from Salon, Nestle has been pumping water on reservations which are known to be sovereign lands, stripping the earth of ground water by draining them too quickly and not allowing them to refresh.

This subject cannot be stressed enough within Californians, when the state is being forced to cut back on water supply, for things like watering lawns, growing crops, agriculture. With California being the biggest agricultural state in the United States there is controversy around the serious inequality between farmers/individuals and bottled water companies.

Yet we can’t have equal restrictions with bottled water companies. If the state wants to regulate water supply to conserve for the better of the drought, then do it right. Who cares what the fraction amount is? It’s still an environmental threat. 725 million gallons is still 725 million gallons, and if cut in half could be used within residence/farmers that need it. Yet we have greedy people taking from water shortages and making profit from it, and the government doesn’t want to set restrictions, why?

What happens if these companies just move where they get their resources from? Look for example at the distribution problem between Miami, with their perfectly green watered lawns and then you look at Indio, California, dry and thirsty. There needs to be more restrictions to regulate the amount of water being taken from California’s scarce water supply.