Please invest in Our Daily Planet today, by making a one time or monthly contribution.
We do not charge our readers a subscription fee for our content. We want to continue to grow our readership, particularly among millennials and public servants. Voluntary contributions from readers will help us employ interns and freelance journalists, expand our content, and reach a larger audience.
As California’s drought conditions are worsening, Nestlé is pumping millions of gallons of water from the San Bernardino forest. State water officials have drafted a cease-and-desist order to force the company to stop overpumping from Strawberry Creek, which provides drinking water for about 750,000 people. Nestlé took 58 million gallons of spring water last year — significantly more than the 2.3 million gallons they could claim, The Guardian reports. The bottled water company pays a measly $2,100 annual permit fee to the U.S. Forest Service and then is allowed to withdraw the water for free. “We have a limited amount of water,” Julé Rizzardo, the assistant deputy director of the Division of Water Rights, told The Guardian. “And as we face our second dry year in a row, it’s important that we use our authority to protect the municipal water supply and the environment.”
Why This Matters: It’s not the first time – other states have also tried to reign in Nestlé for its water grabs. And, there are layers to the harm caused by Nestlé taking spring water and selling it in plastic bottles: with most of the Western U.S. facing drought, Nestlé’s actions could be dangerous. Plus, overdrawing water harms the plant and animal life in the watershed, from forest trees to mountain lions. Not to mention all the plastic used. The company could owe as much as $10,000 a day in fines – only a drop in the bucket of its coffers.
Nestlé’s Harm Goes Beyond California
Across the country, Nestlé has a reputation for wrecking water systems for tiny annual fees, and “conservationists have accused Nestlé of leveraging vast lobbying funds to bend local and federal officials to its will,” The Guardian writes.
In Florida, Nestlé recently had a permit approved to pump nearly 1 million gallons of water a day from Ginnie Springs, one of the state’s freshwater springs, even as reports show that the Santa Fe River system it is a part of is in decline because of pumping.
In Michigan, Nestlé pays a $200 paperwork fee to pump 576,000 gallons of groundwater per day from the headwaters of two cold-water trout streams.
by Amy Lupica, ODP Staff Writer “Glacier blood,” or “watermelon snow,” is sweeping across the Alps, and researchers are eager to survey the snow to figure out what’s responsible for the mysterious phenomenon—the culprit: algal blooms. A new study has found that the same algae that cause dreaded red tide are now blooming en masse on mountains worldwide. […]
One more of the Trump administration’s rollbacks will meet its demise as EPA Administrator Michael Regan and the Biden administration are planning to reinstate protections for many marshes, streams, and wetlands — expanding again the coverage of the Clean Water Act under the “Waters of the U.S.” or “WOTUS” rule.
Why This Matters: Since the late 1700s, 221 million acres of wetlands have been drained in the U.S. for agricultural use. This development has had severe consequences, including fertilizer and pollution runoff threatening drinking water for millions of people.
Our Daily Planet is your daily dose of the stories shaping our world and the ways that you can take action. From the climate crisis to the protection of biodiversity, if these issues matter to you then please subscribe & stay informed!
Your privacy is Important! We promise never to use your email address to send you spam or advertisements.