Stop Nestle from Bottling Precious Water During Drought

Drought as measured by mud-cracks.

Target: Secretary of the Interior, Sally Jewell

Goal: Don’t increase ground water removal in California until the drought is past.

Nestle Waters’ North American chief executive has said the company would “absolutely not” stop bottling operations in California and would, in fact, prefer to increase how much water they bottle in the drought-stricken state. After four years of drought, California only has one more year to recover its lost ground water or its population faces catastrophic consequences. Unable to ignore the problem any longer, the state has started to restrict water use and set goals for dramatically lowering their use of water.

Brown spoke entirely in market terms about “consumer demand” and the “need to hydrate.” There was no recognition or acknowledgement that California faced a disastrous future if it couldn’t restore its water levels. Starbucks has moved its bottling operation out of California to Pennsylvania, while Walmart, which says “the drought … is very concerning,” won’t leave, and now Nestle insists it would like to increase its operations.

This drought is rapidly turning California into a desert and water must be seen as a vital public resource to be preserved for people to drink. Is it too much to expect that Nestle could be prevented from increasing their bottling operations? There needs to be a moratorium on commercial bottling for profit until the drought is over, but in lieu of that, corporations must be restrained from pretending the marketplace is the only issue. Sign to prevent Nestle from expanding its bottling in California as long as there is a drought.


Dear Secretary Jewell,

The photos of California’s vanishing aquifers continue to multiply. It is impossible for Nestle to be ignorant of California’s water crisis even as they pretend it doesn’t matter. The marketplace cannot be the sole decision maker when a state is facing an environmental crisis. Regardless how popular bottled water might be, extracting water for profit in the face of severe drought should be prohibited. In lieu of that, companies should not be allowed to expand in threatened areas.

How we deal with Nestle over its bottling operations in California will set an important precedent for the many difficult decisions created by climate change. If Nestle is allowed to increase commercial bottling operations in a state that is already employing emergency measures, there will be no controls possible over any corporation’s activities.

If we can’t have a moratorium on all bottling operations in California until the drought ends, please stop increasing your bottling operations in California as long as its aquifers are so threatened.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Tim J Keegan

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