Nestle Waters North America has privatized a public aquifer in MI for the purpose of bottling Ice Mountain water. The environmental impact of the 150 gallons of water being pumped from the ground per minute will be seriously detrimental to the quality of life in MI. Privatization all over the Globe is causing soaring water rates. Water is a human right, not a commodity.
Join the Sweetwater Alliance, a grassroots organization dedicated to protecting the citizen's right to water, in our plight against Nestle Waters North America.
Nestle Waters is currently bottling and distributing 72 different brands of bottled water internationally. Ice Mountain is being pumped, 150 gallons per minute, from Remus, MI where the wells are located, to the bottling plant in Stanwood 12 miles away. That water is then shipped out to retailers all over MI and the midwest to be sold back to us.
The environmental impacts of this are already being seen. People's wells are going dry already. Prolonged water extraction will have extremely detrimental effects on local ecology and the supply of this aquifer. Being that this aquifer is a glacial deposit and connected to local rivers, the water cannot be replenished until the next glacial age. The company has also contaminated 1/2 an acre of land with a lubricant used during drilling called Bentonite. The DEQ made the company clean it up; they weren't even fined. Ospreys and loons nest in the wetland areas that were clearcut in order to install the pipe system. This is a direct violation of state laws that are designed to protect the birds during the fledgling period (Feb. 1 - Aug. 15). The law calls for a buffering zone of 1320 feet. Construction was to never take place inside that buffer zone but the company had been working 24 inches away from one particular tree, home to two eagles and their fledglings for over 8 years now.
Basically Gov. Engler sold Nestle the right to take our water away from us in order to sell it back to us for enormous profit. The Stanwood bottling plant profits total approximately $1,000,000 every day. Not only are they taking the water, but we're paying them to do it. Nestle got $10 million dollars in tax breaks upon entering the state of Michigan. That's taking money and services away from the people!
The Aquifer used by Ice Mountain feeds into a river that feeds into the Great Lakes. When water is being pumped from the Great Lakes, the company has to get permission from the governors of all the Great Lakes states, this Nestle did not do.
All of these things are examples of the company's blatant disregard and disrespect of the laws in our state, designed to protect us. The fact that the plant has not yet been shut down shows how far privatization has intruded into our lives. Water is a human right, not a commodity to be used by those who can afford it. While Ice Mountain is pumping water out of the ground for *free*, hundreds of households around Detroit have had their water cut off, which in some cases meant loss of heat as well, because they could not pay their bills. This is because Detroit and its 4.3 million people have just privatized their water industry.
In South Africa privatization of water has led to prepaid swipe cards in order to gain access to the water. It has also caused huge increases in water-borne diseases because people are forced to use water from local rivers. Privatization of the world's most important resource will most certainly deplete the already unstable amounts of fresh water. This is a GLOBAL Issue. Be informed, wield your knowledge.