Some may believe that water should be harvested, but it’s important to proceed cautiously when giving away our most valuable natural resource: water. Maine is blessed with an abundance of clean water, but it is not a unlimited resource that can satisfy the worlds ballooning demand for natural spring water.
Poland Springs may have a long history in Maine, but Poland Spring’s parent company Nestles is a international multi billion dollar company which main concern is to use a region’s water for profit. While Nestles reaps the profits, local communities and the environment are paying the price.
The citizens of Denmark did not vote to sell water to Poland Spring and will not get PAID for the water that Nestles extracts. Our Selectmen voted to approve Nestle’s permit for mass water extraction as the state of Maine is one of only eight states that still practices absolute dominion rules and does not have laws that would help a small town protect it’s ground water from mass water extraction.
Denmark residents did overwhelmingly pass a vote for a mass water extraction moritorium in order that our town leaders would have time to develop an ordinance that would help protect our ground water. At this time the ordinance is a document to insure that water extraction is being adequately monitored. The ordinance does not protect Denmark citizens if Nestles chooses to locate a pumping station in our town or if the action levels prove to be inaccurate. Can Denmark citizens trust that Nestle will stop pumping water when asked, when there is so much money to be lost and no penalties that can be imposed? Or would Nestles fall back on their tried and true defense that it would be a hardship to the corporation and it’s customers if they stopped pumping water from the Denmark well.
How can Nestles be considered environmentally clean? What is green about making, filling, transporting and landfilling billions of plastic bottles? Our water supply may be healthy now. But, can anyone truly predict how our surface water will be effected, once Nestle starts pumping water at both locations from the aquifer that Fryeburg and Denmark share? True, Route 302 is a heavily traveled road, but is that reason for Nestles to locate a pumping station in a low impact zone on a hazardous section of that road?
In closing, the anti Poland Spring crowd are not the ones that have divided our towns. Nestles has a pattern of using propaganda and lawsuits, pitting residents against one another in order to gain control of local water supplies. Please continue to have lively discussions regarding the possible effects that mass water extraction could have on our beautiful Lakes Regions area. Be sure to make an informed decision regarding Nestles and mass water extraction and try to understand why I am cautious in giving Nestle the right to pilfer our water for profit.