US House resolution targets water withdrawals

By Marci Singer, Petoskey News-Review,  Monday, June 22, 2009

“Congressman Stupak’s resolution clearly states that water cannot be treated as a product and cannot be sold as such for commercial profit. The resolution’s statement that water is a public trust, not a private commodity, would prevent all exporting of water.”

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Small Towns vs. Nestlé

By Jenny Tomkins, In These Times, June 26, 2009

When Nestlé Waters North America, the world’s largest bottler of water, comes a-courting, promising jobs and increased tax revenues in exchange for local water rights, many small, rural towns get nervous.

Deborah Lapidus, an organizer with the Think Outside the Bottle campaign, says this skepticism stems from Henderson, Texas, which in the ’90s saw Nestlé suck one of its wells dry.

“The company prioritizes its own use over the environment and other uses,” says Lapidus.

As well as draining water, Nestlé also attempts to deplete these communities’ finances, Lapidus says. Towns trying to defend their reservoirs have found themselves in costly legal battles. Fryeburg, Maine, for example, has been sued five times by Nestlé for “interfering with the right to grow their market share.”

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Thirst for Profit: Corporate Control of Water in Latin America

By Lisa Boscov-Ellen, Council on Hemispheric Affairs,  June 19, 2009

“What is called for is an international code for the public’s access to a guaranteed supply of water as a basic human right.”

The Corporate Crusade to Commodify Water

Water has been characterized as the oil of the 21st century. Blue gold. It is essential to life, and yet humanity faces a growing water crisis as a result of severe mismanagement in water and sanitation, which will be exponentially exacerbated in the coming decades by population growth combined with declining resources. Latin America has the greatest income disparity in the world and the population’s access to water reflects this inequality. Over 130 million people living in the region do not have access to potable water in their homes, and sanitation is in even poorer condition, as it is estimated that only one in six persons has adequate sanitation services.1

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Anxiety grows about reaching water’s limit (Orlando, FL)

By Martin E. Comas, Orlando Sentinel,  June 21, 2009

On any given day, more than 3.6 million gallons of water — more than enough to fill five Olympic-size swimming pools — is sucked up from the ground in Florida, put into bottles and sold.

All that water helps fuel a billion-dollar bottled-water industry in the United States that has seen sales top 8.6 billion gallons last year, springing more than 83 percent since 2000, according to the New York-based Beverage Marketing Corp.

Critics say tapping the aquifer for a profit — while residents face strict lawn-watering restrictions and local governments are making plans to tap alternative water sources — is tough to swallow.

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Do You Buy Bottled Water?

By Mary Wentworth, Cape Cod Today, June 26, 2009

“Evian” is “naive” spelled backwards for good reason.

Do You Buy Bottled Water?  If you do, think about the following:

It’s a rip-off — big time. Coca-Cola was forced to admit in 2004 that Dasani is just tap water. Nestle’s has had to add “Public Water Source” to the label of their Pure Life brand. The upshot is that you pay multiple times more for a product that is available to you at minimal cost from the faucet in your kitchen.

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Wells town leaders “nestle” with Nestlé? (letter)

To the Editor, Seacoast Online:

“I’m not listening … no out-of-towner is going to tell us what to do” type of responses at the June 2 Wells selectmen meeting “discussion” reared its head again when two Kennebunk women tried to speak. The same attitude as was apparent at the Town Meeting regarding the water extraction rights sought after by Nestlé/Poland Spring.

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