Developing new water sources for the Nestle/Poland Spring bottling operation is getting harder for the Swiss multinational, especially among the rural towns which used to be their primary target.
The selectman in Wells, Maine, have approved a water extraction moratorium for placement on the November ballot,
Resident Joe Hardy, one of the group that proposed the moratorium, said
Rachin’s changes were excellent, but disputed the notion that
extraction was adequately prohibited in town. “It allows the KKW to go
on but excludes a large outside entity like Poland Spring or Nestle,”
he said. “It’s not a permitted use but it’s not prohibited either. The
threat is very real, given the closeness with which we almost had the
contract with Nestle.”
Formerly, Nestle/Poland Spring (a venerable Maine brand bought by Nestle) encountered little opposition when trying to extract water from small, rural towns.
Things have changed dramatically in recent years, and towns are no longer so eager to give up their precious bottled water resources for a fraction of a penny per gallon and a handful of sub-living-wage jobs.
Several towns in Maine and Washington have sent Nestle packing, or – in the case of McCloud, CA – opposition to Nestle’s sweetheart deal (negotiated in secret) forced an abandonment of the original contract.
With Nestle being confronted by informed townspeople – connected to others via the Internet – will they finally have to offer towns a good deal in exchange for their water?