Nestlé wants to take 1.1M gallons of water per day from Florida, then sell it back to the public

Howcast / YouTube Can I Drink Tap Water Raw 1548789587.jpg...
Howcast / YouTube

Nestlé Waters is trying to take an astounding 1.1 million gallons of water per day from Ginnie Springs and the Santa Fe River in Florida, as first reported by the Guardian. Local conservationists are afraid that the corporate giant will disrupt the natural habitat of turtles that live in the bank. They’re also afraid that the river is simply too frail to survive all of this, as it’s already been designed as “in recovery” from being over-pumped in the past.

Perhaps the biggest, most glaring issue? That a corporate giant wants to take publicly owned water and… sell it back to the public. Yikes.

How does this work? Basically, the Florida Water Resources Act says that all of the water in the springs (as well as the rivers and lakes) is state property. However, it never established a price for the water. So while taxpayers pay into resources that, for example, restore the spring from over-pumping, companies like Nestle are able to take state water without paying for it.

Of course, in a statement on its website, Nestlé sings to a different tune:

“Springwater is a rapidly renewable resource when managed correctly. Nestlé Waters North America is committed to the highest level of sustainable spring water management at all of the springs we manage,” Nestlé Waters North America explains in a written statement. “We have worked to be a good neighbor in Florida for decades. Our commitment goes beyond just caring about the water. We value our relationships with Florida residents and community leaders, and always strive to create shared value within the communities where we operate.”

Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson, a member of the Our Sante Fe River conservation group, told the Guardian she isn’t buying it. 

“The Santa Fe River is already in decline… there’s not enough water coming out of the aquifer itself to recharge these lovely, amazing springs that are iconic and culturally valued and important for natural systems and habitats,” she explained. “It’s impossible to withdraw millions of gallons of water and not have an impact. If you take any amount of water out of a glass you will always have less.”

In the big picture, it’s obscene that many people in the United States (and the world) don’t have affordable access to clean water. Water that comes from your tap should be safe to drink and wash your dishes (and yourself!) with. When people need to not only spend money on bottled water, but also go out and buy it, clean water access becomes not only an affordability issue but an accessibility one.

Of course, there’s the obvious irony that bottled water is inherently terrible for the environment. So what will a big corporation do? Take water from a struggling eco-system, bottle it in plastic, and sell it back to the public, apparently. Sigh.

At this point, Nestlé’s plan is still a proposal, so conservationists are hoping the corporation’s permit is denied.

Thank you to all who already support our work since we could not exist without your generosity. If you have not already, please consider supporting us on Patreon to ensure we can continue bringing you the best of independent journalism.

Leave a Comment

4 Comments on "Nestlé wants to take 1.1M gallons of water per day from Florida, then sell it back to the public"

avatar
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
True Patriot
Guest
True Patriot

WATER IS LIFE, STILL! We can’t live off $$$ without it. SMDH

David Bishop
Guest
David Bishop

The Santa Fe has been stressed for at least 10 years – how is this possibly being considered?

David Bishop
Guest
David Bishop

To add onto this: I talked to my brother and his wife who live in High Springs. They sold their boat (we used to take nearly to the gulf coast to swim in all the springs), you can’t swim the river anymore, the flow has reduced by 40% and nitrates are up.

Independent
Guest
Independent
I have heard water is the new oil. They are in Maine – Poland Springs -taking water out of our aquifers. They are good neighbors as far as I can tell, however, they are not paying a cent for our water. The trucks are coming and going all the time and the roads between my town and the turnpike are taking a beating. For a while it appeared their drivers were tossing bags of trash and what is called piss jars out of their trucks on the side of the roads. When it was brought to Poland Springs attention they… Read more »