It’s a resource that plenty of us take for granted. After all, we can just go to the grocery store and buy cases of plastic bottles of the stuff, jugs of it, have barrels of it delivered to our door, or just turn on our faucet.
You don’t really have to work for your water, and you certainly don’t have to worry that it’s going to kill you.
But what if someone came in to your nice little, cozy mountain town and said, “Your mountain run-off water is fantastic. We’re going to set up pumps upstream, take all of it, force your town to relocate since you won’t have any water anymore. Don’t like it? Let’s go to Supreme Court.”
Chances are, that company is Nestle. But fortunately, this water embassy they’ve built is starting to crumble, and just in time…
The costs of bottled water are astronomical. First consider that water is a free resource… until someone lays claim to it, destroys the environment to get it, and sells it back at astronomically high prices.
Second, the mere creation of the pumping and bottling facilities is disasterous to the environment: Food and Water Watch reports that 17 million barrels of oil are needed to produce all the plastic water bottles we use in the U.S. each year — and, shockingly, 86 percent of them will never be recycled — they end up littering our streets and waterways and clogging our landfills.
Areas where water is constantly pumped can suffer, as though there are restrictions to the amount a company can pump, often any water in these areas can create lots of problems.
For example, Nestle is trying hard to bottle water in Colorado. Colorado has such strict water laws for even it’s residents (it’s illegal to hoard rainwater in rain barrels without a permit, for example) because that water not only has to go throughout Colorado, but it goes downstream to provide water for New Mexico and other places… but what if Nestle set up their pollution-pumping plants at the source of the mountain run-off? They’d pump more water than any resident could catch in a rain barrel, and rather than just pouring in back onto Colorado soil at a later time, it would be bottled up and sold. It never would go back into Colorado ground, or downstream to the towns that need it.
Nestle has shown repeatedly that they don’t care one bit about the environmental impact their pumping would have — like a parasite, their goal is to just suck the resources dry and make a profit. In McCloud, California, they were forced to admit that in their plans for pumping, they did absolutely no research whatsoever into the effects of watershed.
In Michigan, they were taken eventually to Supreme Court to protect the Great Lakes, and even wetlands. Fortunately, the community won, as the Judge was able to determine that significant damage would be done to the local water resources and the ecosystems they were a part of, including even permanent changes to the temperature and flow of the stream and wetlands, which actually protect from erosion and purify local waters, and that it would even damage or kill wetland wildlife.
That’s some pretty damn significant damage to be done, just so a corporation can bottle water and sell it back to you.
Fortunately for us, Nestle Waters is starting to really hurt. Not only did they lose their case there in Michigan, but they’ve been kicked out of Enumclaw, Washington and Kennebunk, Maine. In McCloud, California, that I previously mentioned, they were forced to downscale their plans for the largest water bottling-facility in the world, to the point where they finally took back the entire proposal (to rewrite, of course, but still).
The cost of bottled water is not just your wallet, but the environment as a whole. Extreme destruction is wrought, merely in the pumping of the water, and then when you take into account the cost of creating the plastic bottles (which still often contain BPA, even when labeled BPA-free among other estrogen compounds), and then the impact on the environment once all those bottles are left, bottled water becomes a luxury that our planet just can’t afford.
More and more cities, campuses and businesses are starting to ban bottled water, which has had nothing but positive affects on the communities, saving half a million dollars annually and drastically reducing landfill bulk and litter. Not to mention, of course, reducing dependency on oil and helping prevent destruction of wetlands, lakes, rivers and springs and even of wildlife.
Nestle’s already hurting as towns start fighting back, and start saying, “Enough is enough!” Keep it going. Stop Nestle Waters. For an extensive list of Nestle-owned water, as well as other products, click here. There are usually some small-scale, local water facilities you can get water from if you don’t want to drink from your tap, for whatever reason. Be socially responsible in your water choice.
Save the environment, drink from the tap.