Nestlé has continued its water bottling practices even while California has struggled though its worst drought in history, gaining not only the negative attention of residents, but also of an enraged nation. Activists have taken the matter into their own hands, picketing the corporation that guzzles over 80 million gallons of water form Sacramento aquifers every year – only to sell that water back to the public.
In a message to Nestlé from a California voters’ group late last year, they remarked:
“Nestlé … is bottling California’s water, selling it, and profiting while the state suffers from a scorching, record-breaking drought,” the groups warned in a series of emails. “Friend, we are fuming. To date, Nestle has refused to acknowledge concerns about the water they are taking.”
Last week, activists physically blocked the entrance to one of Nestlé’s water bottling plants in Sacramento, holding pitchforks and plastic torches. Their protests were so effective that they shut down Nestlé’s plant operations for the day.
The protestors stayed until 1:00pm after starting at 5:00am, with no arrests. They claim that Sacramento City Hall has allowed Nestlé to continue their actions via a “corporate welfare giveaway,” and they want the bamboozling of the state’s precious water to stop.
Coalition spokesperson Andy Conn stated:
“For more than five months we have requested data on Nestlé water use. City Hall has not complied with our request, or given any indication that it will. Sacramentans deserve to know how their money is being spent and what they’re getting for it. In this case, they’re getting ripped off.”
Why is any company being allowed to siphon off water at such an alarming rate when the state is expected to run out of water within the next 12 – 18 months?
Maybe the former Nestle CEO’s on-record statement will help answer that question:
The company just happens to be the largest seller of bottled water in the entire world.
Californians have even been urged to reduce their water consumption by at least 20% in recent days, all while corporations like Nestle, along with the act of fracking, deplete the state of much-needed water.
Photo credit: Credit: Marcio Jose Sanchez
Christina Sarich is a humanitarian and freelance writer helping you to Wake up Your Sleepy Little Head, and See the Big Picture. Her blog is Yoga for the New World. Her latest book is Pharma Sutra: Healing the Body And Mind Through the Art of Yoga.