In another look back at 2008, the Sterling News also led their wrap-up with a Nestle Waters/Poland Spring story – this one about the very contentious Wekepeke aquifer.
On the water front, much of the year was devoted to the Wekepeke Aquifer, and an effort by Nestle Waters to use the resource for bottled water. Clinton officials signed an agreement in June to resist Nestle’s advances, but Sterling officials did not immediately sign on.
A local group, the Committee for Informed Citizens, implored the Selectmen to make a similar stand and close off the aquifer to Nestle. Finally, in October, the Selectmen released a statement taking a stand against commercial use of the water.
“The purchase and re-sale of water of the Wekepeke aquifer by any private company, such as Nestle Waters, should not be encouraged or permitted,” the Selectmen said in the Oct. 1 statement. “The sale of public water from the Wekepeke aquifer does not represent sound public policy nor is it in the spirit or intent of the original and subsequent enabling legislation.”
This was classic Nestle/Poland Spring; the deal was halfway to finished before the citizenry found out, and only a strong response got it tabled – especially after questions about the saleability of the water were raised.