Friday, April 01, 2016 by: Jennifer Lea Reynolds
Tags: Nestle, corporate greed, Arrowhead water
(NaturalNews) Despite the fact that California’s drought has left the state and its residents facing dire conditions, profit-hungry Nestle has continued to collect water from 12 spring sites – 27 million gallons of it in 2013 to be exact – in order to sell their bottled Arrowhead 100% Mountain Spring Water. It’s bad enough that the mega company kept obtaining water for their own greedy purposes, taking from a state that so desperately needed it for themselves, but the story worsens in terms of how much Nestle paid the state for this water collection.
It must have been a significant payment after taking millions of gallons of water, right? You’d think so, but they paid the state (you might want to sit down for this one) $524. Even more twisted, is the fact that Nestle seems to not be blinking an eye over the absurdly low amount, maintaining that they’re in good standing because they’ve paid the permit fees allowing them to obtain water from this area in full.
Nestle claims seniority for water rights, continues to pay low annual fee on expired permit to keep profitable water bottling brand thriving
In addition, they say that they hold seniority when it comes to water rights. The permit, however, expired way back in 1988, and efforts to renew it never came to fruition, mainly due to hesitation from forest service officials.
Yes indeed, they’re obtaining this water from Arrowhead Springs which is on public land in a national forest.
“The whole process of reauthorizing a permit can be pretty rigorous, and we just didn’t have the money or the budget or the staff to do that,” said Gene Zimmerman, who at the time, was a forest supervisor. “We were never able to budget to do that kind of work on the scale it needed to be done.”
In 2003, he even sent a letter to Nestle allowing them to continue obtaining water in the forest, provided the company adheres to the terms of the permit and continues to pay the annual fee.
Nestle continues making billions bottling water in drought-stricken California where people’s lives have been ruined
Since 2013, the company has been on a roll. Over the years, they’ve continued to collect water from California, including 76 million gallons from springs in Deer Canyon in a single year. In 2015, Ian James of the The Desert Sun wrote that, “Statewide, Nestle Waters used a total of 2,164 acre-feet of water from all sources in 2014 … That’s about 705 million gallons – enough to irrigate roughly 700 acres of farmland, or keep two golf courses green, or fill 1,068 Olympic-size swimming pools.”
Never mind that people’s lives have been turned upside down from the California droughts. For example, a 74-year-old retired farmer in California had to sell about 3,000 acres of his property to the federal government so that they could assess the damage caused by the droughts and begin a program to restore the land.
Others have closed up business, and it’s not uncommon to hear stories of people who have had to rent land in wetter areas to help their farm animals survive. Many residents are also all too familiar with destroyed crops and devastating changes to the environment, including the fear of some species’ extinction.
Of course, we’ve all seen the gut-wrenching side-by-side images comparing lakes that were once full with images of those same areas, now dry as a bone.
Yet Nestle, the same company that’s been sued for child slavery involving cacao harvesting operations, and the same company that actually tried to patent the fennel flower, continues to make tens of billions of dollars just on their Arrowhead 100% Mountain Spring Water alone.
Will the greed ever stop?