Rights-based water ordinances have yet to face a court challenge (and we’re expecting one at some point), but their “give the right to decide back to the people” message is certainly resonating with small town residents.
It appears that the town of Wells is set to follow the example of Shapleigh and Newfield, both of whom passed water-extraction ordinances which were aimed largely at Nestle/Poland Spring’s water extraction activities.
Supporters of a measure to prevent companies such as Poland Spring from extracting groundwater in Wells are presenting a ballot proposal to the town’s selectmen.
Organizers say they have gathered signatures from more than 800 Wells residents in support of putting the measure on the June 9 ballot.
In many small towns, elected officials have not done a good job representing the interests of townsfolk (the original Nestle contract in McCloud is a prime example), and residents simply want the right to decide for themselves.
This is not good news for Nestle/Poland Spring, who cannot be happy to see rights-based water ordinances popping up like spring daffodils.