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Nestle Wants Water Privatized, Previously Drained Millions of Gallons of Water from Arkansas Rivers

Elizabeth Renter
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June 12th, 2013
Updated 05/07/2014 at 10:12 pm
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water bottled 263x164 Nestle Wants Water Privatized, Previously Drained Millions of Gallons of Water from Arkansas RiversCompanies should own every single bit of water on the planet, according to Nestle’s former CEO and now-Chairman Peter Brabeck-Letmathe. His position, shared by many others in his ranks, is one of profits over people and corporate rights over human rights. They advocate a sort of survival-of-the-richest, where only those with money should have access to “privileges” like water.

Making rounds several years after its creation, a video depicting Brabeck-Letmathe suggests that while 1.5% of the world’s water is for human usage, the other 98.5% “is not a human right”. He states that it’s this majority of water that should be “valued” through privatization. In other words, because the water is being treated as a human right (when in his mind it isn’t), it is being taken for granted. In order to ensure it’s used in an efficient manner, he suggests private corporations have access to owning it.

As if this isn’t frightening enough, Brabeck-Letmathe equates his position to that of Monsanto (another vile corporation who puts profits above people).

Nestle’s position on owning water is not new. A few years ago they began buying up property and water rights in Colorado to turn the world’s greatest natural resource into a bottled commodity. The Arkansas River Basin in Chaffee County, Colorado was ground zero for millions in land acquisitions. Private landowners sold their plots for as much as $1.1 million for 1.4 acres, according to a news report from the Colorado Independent at the time.

Nestle paid Frank McMurry $860,000 for 111 acres in Big Horn Springs. Though Nestle didn’t end up using the property, this was only a fraction of their purchases. They bought 1.4 acres from Steve Hanswn for $1,120,000 in order to build a loading station for its trucks to load up with bottled water. Another deal proved lucrative for Harold and Mary Hagen, who sold their 11 acres (including a spring which Nestle is no doubt presently bottling) for $2,850,000.

You would think local towns that depend on these resources would stand up to the corporate giant. Well, some of them do. But most have a price.

Colorado Independent reports:

“In Colorado, where water supplies fluctuate wildly with the seasons, water-use permits like the one Nestle secured force holders to include a plan on how they will replace the water they will extract. In this case, Nestle failed to convince the Upper Arkansas Water Conservancy District to lease the company water and so it turned to the city of Aurora, 100 miles away.

Aurora took up the deal, agreeing to lease the company 65 million gallons of water per year for 10 years, with an optional 10-year renewal. The first year payment is $160,000. The price will rise 5 percent a year. Aurora can cut the deal off in any year that it needs the water for its own purposes.”

Brabeck-Letmathe and his cohorts at Nestle may deny their intentions to privatize water around the world, but their actions speak louder than words. Drinkable water is being bought and sold as if we don’t all depend on it, as if it belongs to corporations rather than to humanity. The bottling of water is the greatest “sale” to ever take place and many people have lined up (and continue to line up) to keep companies like Nestle in the money. In a world where even water can be a corporate commodity, one has to wonder if and when a line will be drawn. Perhaps it will take the privatization of air before the people wake up.

From around the web:

  • Sergio Santhiago
  • NonofTheirBus

    BOYCOTT NESTLE NOW, and share this will all you know ! ! !

  • A Nobody

    Boycott Nestle Now !

  • yankee phil

    Jesse Ventura did a documentary on the Nestle companies stealing america's water rights with the help of your local politicians. Watch episode 3 of season 3 on U-tube tru-TV. Its worse than you think and closer to becoming a reality than you would imagine. There should be a green army legal team formed to challenge these pigs in court. When they pollute the air so bad you have to buy oxygen for supplimental breathing every day to think straight ….you can see where this is going.

    • T

      I read they are already selling canned air in China these days. :(

  • Paul

    Telling us poor that we don't deserve water? It's not a privelidge, it's a must or we die. Is that the plan?

  • http://sandrahamblin@gmail.com sandra hamblin

    Nestle (Poland Springs) owns a spring in Denmark, Maine, the town in which I live. The town put up a fight against them, but we’re a small town of 1,200 people and didn’t have the finances to fight the Nestle Corp. I worry that too much is being pumped out–and none of it going back into the eco system. And what happens when our wells run dry? Our lakes? Nestle will move on, as they do in other locales.

  • Toby

    That has just put Nestle at the top of our boycott list.

  • MotherEarth

    I think what bothers me the most is their sense of entitlement…that THEY have the right to own the earth, whether it be our seeds, gas, food, land or water. Start growing your own gardens from heirloom seeds (which you can save and plant) while you can, because THAT is what will be next!