Welcome to StopNestleWaters.org.
It’s a gathering point for rural citizens fighting to preserve control of their water supplies and local economies from Nestle – the world’s largest food and beverage company.
It’s information. It’s conversation. And yes, it’s definitely grassroots.
Why are we targeting Nestle Waters?
- Because Nestle’s predatory tactics in rural communities divide small towns and pit residents against each other.
- Because Nestle reaps huge profits from the water they extract from rural communities – which are left to deal with the damage to watersheds, increases in pollution and the loss of their quiet rural lifestyle
- Because Nestle has a pattern of bludgeoning small communities and opponents with lawsuits and interfering in local elections to gain control of local water supplies.
- Because the environmental consequences of bottled water on our atmosphere, watersheds and landfills are simply too big to ignore.
McCloud, CA: Home of the World’s Biggest Bottling Plant??
Since 2003, citizens of the tiny town of McCloud have been bravely fighting Nestle’s plans for a one-million sq. ft. bottling plant – the largest water bottling plant in the United States.
The contract was negotiated in secret and signed by the McCloud Services District without public input.
Not surprisingly, the resulting deal was so lopsided, it looked as if Nestle’s lawyers negotiated both sides.
It would have granted Nestle defacto control of McCloud’s water for 100 years, yet Nestle would have paid almost nothing for the water they turned around and sold at above-gasoline prices.
Nestle also interfered in the local election (they funded the campaigns of pro-Nestle candidates), and in a clear attempt to intimidate opponents, had their legal hit squad subpoena the private financial records of Nestle opponents.
Is Nestle a good corporate citizen in McCloud? Apparently not if you oppose them.
In 2009, Nestle finally abandoned plans to build their water bottling plant, opting to build in Sacramento, CA instead.
Suing Fryeburg, ME
In Maine, Nestle has repeatedly sued (5 times and counting) the tiny rural town of Fryeburg – a clear attempt to litigate the tiny town into insolvency, winning the right to tap the local aquifer by default.
Because the town’s planning commission – and a majority of its citizens – said “no” to Nestle’s proposed 24/7 water pumping station (which returned little economic value to the town) and its accompanying traffic, noise, and pollution.
Those silly residents.
That’s how Nestle’s lawyers found themselves arguing before the Maine State Supreme Court – where they said a Maine town’s refusal to throw open its water supply interfered with Nestle’s “right” to grow their market share (You can see the Nestle lawyers arguing the case in this YouTube video).
No. It doesn’t look like it from here either.
Damaging Watersheds in Mecosta County, MI
In Michigan, Nestle – despite repeatedly proclaiming themselves “good corporate neighbors” who would never damage a watershed – were ordered to reduce pumping after courts repeatedly found Nestle was damaging a local watershed.
Sadly, these are simply highlights; the list of Nestle’s transgressions against rural communities and watersheds includes communities from the Northwest, Michigan, Maine, Florida and Canada.
It’s not all roses for Nestle
While Nestle’s water mining operations remain hugely profitable, the backlash against bottled water’s harmful environmental effects and Nestle’s abuses of rural water supplies is hitting them right in the corporate pocketbook.
- After years of rapid growth – Nestle Water’s revenues are on the decline
- Nestle’s suffered legal setbacks, denting their carefully-cultivated corporate image as an environmentally sensitive company
- Nestle’s been summarily kicked out of several rural communities, including Enumclaw, WA and Kennebunk, Maine
- Nestle was forced to scale back plans for their plant in McCloud, and then – in the full glare of the media spotlight – canceled the contract entirely (they’ll be making another offer to the town)
- Nestle was also forced to admit their chants of “no environmental damage” were largely crap in the case of McCloud – they had done zero environmental monitoring of the watershed they wanted to tap
Still, Nestle’s not going quietly. Mining water for almost nothing and re-selling at a price higher than gasoline is simply too profitable to let go.
Rather than reform their business model – which involves pitting residents of rural communities against each other – their solution is to simply hire more PR professionals.
Apparently, increasing the public relations budget is far easier than doing the right thing.
That’s what StopNestleWaters.org is all about.
We’re using the community-building powers of the Internet to counter Nestle’s big-dollar PR/legal/marketing legions.
The goal? Return control of local water supplies to local communities.
We invite you to join us – right here, right now – as we fight to Stop Nestle Waters.