Flint, Michigan locals still can’t drink their water without using a filter. But only around 120 miles away, in Evart, Michigan, Nestlé plans to begin pumping almost double the volume of groundwater that they are currently to sell under their branded bottled waters. Michigan residents were upset upon learning the state may approve a permit for Nestlé to pump so much more water while the foreign company pays hardly anything at all for such access.
Nestlé aims to up groundwater pumping to 210 million gallons yearly in Evart. They want to pump 400 gallons of water a minute instead of 150 gallons a minute from a Michigan aquifer. But the Swiss company worth $219 billion will likely only have to shell out a mere $200 each year for the increase, and maybe pay a permit fee. They won’t have to pay much for their pumping because under Michigan state law the Nestlé bottling plant is treated as a private well.
The water pumped would fill Pure Life and Ice Mountain water bottles. According to the company, Ice Mountain is “the number-one selling bottled spring water brand in the Midwest.” Nestlé says increased operations will create 20 jobs.
In a message to regulators he provided to The Guardian, a Michigan man said, “Why on earth would the state of Michigan, given our lack of money to address water matters of our own, like Flint, even consider giving MORE water for little or no cost to a foreign corporation with annual profits in the billions?”
A Michigan woman said, “The rape of our Michigan inland fresh water sources is a cause for concern, especially when it is done by a private company for profit.” Michigan residents sued Nestlé more than ten years ago because of a very similar permit that would have allowed the company to pump 400 gallons a minute at a Mecosta, Michigan plant. Nestlé received a settlement letting them pump 218 gallons per minute.
Via The Guardian