Tan Claro Como Agua Turbia (As Clear as Muddy Water)

This article is about Nestle’s targetting of Latino communities to market bottled water. The article is entirely in Spanish, but you can look up more information at: http://www.stopcorporateabuse.org/node/1571

Empresas promueven producto con más energía entre los consumidores hispanos

Róger Lindo | 2011-11-06 La Opinión

Universidades, grupos comunitarios y líderes latinos han iniciado una campaña para contrarrestar lo que denominan las técnicas manipulativas de las compañías embotelladoras de agua para comercializarla entre los hispanos a precios muy superiores a los que costaría obtenerla del grifo, que es la fuente de la mayor parte del producto envasado.

Aunque dirigida a las grandes corporaciones que dominan el negocio del agua en botella, los organizadores han enfilado sus baterías especialmente contra el conglomerado suizo Nestlé, que según ellos está promoviendo el producto con singular energía entre los consumidores hispanos.

La campaña arrancó en el Bronx, Nueva York, donde se montó una demostración con personas de ese barrio que fueron invitadas a una prueba para ver si podían diferenciar entre el agua de grifo y la de botella.

La mayoría de ellos no pudieron distinguir entre una y otra, según Erin Díaz, organizadora nacional de Corporate Accountability International, el grupo que movilizó el esfuerzo. El congresista de Arizona Raúl Grijalva y la organización National Alliance of Latin American and Caribbean Communities (NALAC) son participantes en este.

“El agua no debe ser una mercancía”, comentó Díaz, añadiendo que la campaña que se inició persigue educar a la población sobre el tema del agua, y apoyar la validez de los sistemas públicos de abastecimiento del líquido. Según ella las embotelladoras transnascionales han hecho muchos esfuerzos para cambiar la percepción que la gente tiene sobre el agua.

“Durante los últimos años estas embotelladoras han visto estancarse sus ventas, de ahí que Nestlé haga una campaña específica con la comunidad latina”. Un estudio reciente de la publicación Archivos de Medicina Pediátrica y de Adolescentes, que la campaña invoca, destacó que los padres hispanos y afroamericanos tenían triple propensión que el resto de la población a dar agua de botella en lugar de la del grifo a sus hijos. Detrás de esta costumbre se encuentra la creencia de que esta es más higiénica y saludable.

Jane Lazgin, portavoz de Nestle Water de Norteamérica, rebatió los alegatos de la campaña anticorporativa. “Nuestros productos son promovidos en todos los segmentos del mercado estadounidense y la inversión en mercadotecnia que hacemos en el caso del agua es mínima en comparación con lo que se gasta en promover las gaseosas o la cerveza”, respondió.

Enfatizó que la difusión que la compañía hace privilegia el consumo de agua por encima de otras bebidas, y fomenta su consumo. Esto es de particular importancia en el caso de los hispanos, dijo, cuyas tasas de obesidad son superiores a las de la población en general.

“Sustituir una bebida azucarada de 12 onzas y 140 calorías por agua al día te puede ahorrar 4,200 calorías al mes”, reza un anuncio desplegado en el sitio de internet de la compañía.

“Es cierto que las viñetas de nuestros producto dicen que esta origina en las fuentes públicas, pero también aclaran que se trata de agua purificada, pasada por estrictos controles de calidad que eliminan el claro y otros contaminantes”, dijo la representantes de la empresa suiza.

http://www.impre.com/laopinion/noticias/la-california/2011/11/6/tan-claro-como-agua-turbia-280989-1.html

Coca Cola Flexes Influence to Block Grand Canyon Bottle Ban

As a major donor to the National Park Foundation, Coca Cola and the top federal parks official, Jon Jarvis, made the decision to undermine years worth of work to kick the bottle out of the Grand Canyon.  Top Grand Canyon park official Stephen Martin and other officials have been working to stop the sale of bottles at the park for years.  They see that bottles contribute the most to pollution of the park.

Defending Water for Life feels that favoring corporate business over the protection of this National Park is gravely irresponsible.  It promotes the wrong message about the impact of bottled water on people and the planet.

Here is the article by Felicity Barringer from the New York Times, November 9, 2011:

Parks Chief Blocked Plan for Grand Canyon Bottle Ban

Weary of plastic litter, Grand Canyon National Park officials were in the final stages of imposing a ban on the sale of disposable water bottles in the Grand Canyon late last year when the nation’s parks chief abruptly blocked the plan after conversations with Coca-Cola, a major donor to the National Park Foundation.

Stephen P. Martin, the architect of the plan and the top parks official at the Grand Canyon, said his superiors told him two weeks before its Jan. 1 start date that Coca-Cola, which distributes water under the Dasani brand and has donated more than $13 million to the parks, had registered its concerns about the bottle ban through the foundation, and that the project was being tabled. His account was confirmed by park, foundation and company officials.

Continue reading

A Report on Irrigation’s Impact to Groundwater on the Deschutes River, Oregon and Success of Mitigation Program

ACCEPTABILITY OF THE DESCHUTES GROUNDWATER MITIGATION PROGRAM

by Eva Lieberherr*

 

 

Printed in Ecology Law Quarterly

This is a useful resource on how groundwater is effected by pumping, and an example of groundwater protection.

http://elq.typepad.com/currents/2011/06/currents38-04-lieberherr-2011-0607.html

Coca-Cola Influences Ban on Sale of Disposable Water Bottles in Grand Canyon

November 9, 2011

Parks Chief Blocked Plan for Grand Canyon Bottle Ban

By FELICITY BARRINGER

Weary of plastic litter, Grand Canyon National Park officials were in the final stages of imposing a ban on the sale of disposable water bottles in the Grand Canyon late last year when the nation’s parks chief abruptly blocked the plan after conversations with Coca-Cola, a major donor to the National Park Foundation.

Stephen P. Martin, the architect of the plan and the top parks official at the Grand Canyon, said his superiors told him two weeks before its Jan. 1 start date that Coca-Cola, which distributes water under the Dasani brand and has donated more than $13 million to the parks, had registered its concerns about the bottle ban through the foundation, and that the project was being tabled. His account was confirmed by park, foundation and company officials.

A spokesman for the National Park Service, David Barna, said it was Jon Jarvis, the top federal parks official, who made the “decision to put it on hold until we can get more information.” He added that “reducing and eliminating disposable plastic bottles is one element of our green plan. This is a process, and we are at the beginning of it.”

Mr. Martin, a 35-year veteran of the park service who had risen to the No. 2 post in 2003, was disheartened by the outcome. “That was upsetting news because of what I felt were ethical issues surrounding the idea of being influenced unduly by business,” Mr. Martin said in an interview. “It was even more of a concern because we had worked with all the people who would be truly affected in their sales and bottom line, and they accepted it.”

Neil J. Mulholland, president of the foundation, said that a representative of Coca-Cola had reached out to him late in the process to inquire about the reasons for the water bottle ban and how it would work.

“There was not an overt statement made to me that they objected to the ban,” Mr. Mulholland said, adding, “There was never anything inferred by Coke that if this ban happens, we’re losing their support.” The foundation president noted in the interview that Coca-Cola had recently donated $80,000 for a recycling program on the Mall in Washington.

A spokeswoman for Coca-Cola Refreshments USA, Susan Stribling, said the company would rather help address the plastic litter problem by increasing the availability of recycling programs. “Banning anything is never the right answer,” she said. “If you do that, you don’t necessarily address the problem.” She also characterized the bottle ban as limiting personal choice. “You’re not allowing people to decide what they want to eat and drink and consume,” she said.

In seeking the ban, the Grand Canyon park, under Mr. Martin’s direction from 2006 until his retirement last December, was following the example of Zion National Park, in Utah, which had instituted a similar program to great acclaim in 2008. The park service gave it an environmental achievement award in 2009 for eliminating 60,000 plastic bottles from the park in its first year.

Discarded plastic bottles account for about 30 percent of the park’s total waste stream, according to the park service. Mr. Martin said the bottles are “the single biggest source of trash” found inside the canyon.

Mr. Martin said he got approval to proceed with implementing the ban after he briefed his superiors in both the Denver regional office and Washington headquarters in the spring of 2010. Research showed that the park sold about $400,000 worth of bottled water in a given year. The planned ban at the Grand Canyon would have covered only smaller bottles and would not have applied to other beverages such as soda or juices.

In preparation, the park and its contracted concessionaires installed more water “filling stations” for reusable bottles at a cost of about $300,000, according to information provided by the park service to Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, an environmental group based in Washington that has worked to uncover the underlying reasons for the abrupt turn-around on the ban.

Senior park officials considered having Mr. Jarvis announce the ban to a meeting of the Society of Environmental Journalists in the fall of 2010. “From a media standpoint, we see this as good news, it fits perfectly into Jon’s sustainability goals,” Mr. Barna wrote in an internal park service e-mail. He concluded, “We are aware that others (Nestle, etc.) may not be thrilled at this decision but other than that, are there any downsides?”

In mid-December, Mr. Martin received a telephone call and an e-mail from his immediate boss, John Wessels, the Intermountain regional director for the park service, with news that the ban was being postponed indefinitely.

Mr. Jarvis said that he had not heard of the ban until Nov. 17, and felt that an action by Grand Canyon park would have more impact than Zion’s. He added: “My decision to hold off the ban was not influenced by Coke, but rather the service-wide implications to our concessions contracts, and frankly the concern for public safety in a desert park.”

The decision was laid out in an e-mail by Jo A. Pendry, then chief of commercial services for the park service, who explained that during a Dec. 13 meeting, Mr. Jarvis “reiterated his decision to have the Grand Canyon hold off on implementation” until “we have hosted a meeting with the major producers of bottled water.”

She also wrote that Mr. Jarvis expected that Mr. Wessels would “touch base with the N.P.F./Coke, and he asked that I get in touch with you to see where you are with making that contact.”

The N.P.F. refers to the acronym for the nonprofit foundation, which was chartered by Congress to generate individual and corporate private donations to the national parks.

The e-mails were provided to The New York Times by a current park service employee concerned about the handling of the bottle ban. The employee declined to be identified because he does not have permission to speak publicly on the subject.

PEER, the public employees’ group, filed a Freedom of Information Act request in August seeking documents that could shed light on the decision, but only two documents — letters between Mr. Martin and representatives of the park concessionaire Xanterra — were released, said Jeff Ruch, the group’s president, who is weighing a lawsuit.

Asked why Mr. Mulholland, the president of the foundation, had been involved in the decision to table the ban, Mr. Barna, the park service spokesman, said, “He’s a partner, and he represents a lot of people who do good things in the parks. He’s a way for people to get introductions within the park service.”

Mr. Barna quickly added that he did not mean that donors could buy access.

For his part, Mr. Mulholland said he had no qualms about entertaining Coca-Cola’s questions and concerns. “I don’t feel conflicted, because the park service does a very good job of policing themselves and adhering to their standards,” he said.

 

 

Statement from Indigenous Environmental Network on Keystone XL Pipeline and Obama’s decision to delay

Statement of the: Indigenous Environmental Network November 11, 2011

Mother Earth Achieves a Victory Today with Obama Administration Decision
to Delay the Keystone XL Pipeline Decision

Turtle Island-The United States Department of State and President Barack
Obama announced they would seek a new environmental review of the Keystone
XL pipeline. This will delay and hopefully stop the Trans Canada
Corporation from pursuing to build the 1,700 mile long Keystone XL
pipeline. The pipeline is part of the expansion of the flow of dirty oil
from the tar sands of Canada. The Indigenous Environmental Network,
through its Canadian Indigenous Tar Sands Campaign and its Keystone XL
Pipeline organizing work has successfully put an indigenous and human
rights face to this dangerous and environmental destructive tar sands
pipeline.
Continue reading

Bottled water marketing tactic targets Latinos

By Alli Crook and Caitlin Krown, Tuesday, November 1, 2011

To Tap That, a campaign of the Vassar Greens dedicated to reducing bottled water use on campus, commercial scams and unregulated corruption are expected of all major bottled water companies. From images of mountain springs and false promises of a healthier, cleaner product, bottled water companies have designed a product so cleverly that many are now convinced that they cannot live without it and are willing to pay for something that is literally free.

Recently, bottled water corporate king Nestlé has started a new kind of marketing tactic: targeting minorities. Depending on where you live in the country, you may know Nestlé bottles by a number of names such as Arrowhead, Calistoga, Deer Park, Ice Mountain, Ozarka, Poland Spring and Zephyrhills. Nestlé has a new brand of bottled water called Pure Life that takes water from a public water source, filters it, bottles it and sells it at thousands of times the price without releasing information regarding the quality of the product they are selling. Meanwhile, public water treatment facilities are required to release reports concerning the cleanliness of tap water.

But the injustices of this company go far beyond typical corporate nonsense. Nestlé uses a variety of tactics to target the Latino minority in their marketing. Underprivileged Latino families are especially vulnerable to such advertisement, as they often come from places that don’t have access to clean drinking water. Nestlé exploits this in a number of ways. They run campaigns that specifically target Latino mothers and utilize Latino celebrity endorsements.

Continue reading

Some question McCloud’s Squaw Valley Creek study

By Skye Kinkade
Mount Shasta Area Newspapers
Posted Nov 02, 2011 @ 10:15 AM
Last update Nov 02, 2011 @ 02:21 PM

McCloud, Calif. — Now that a study on the Squaw Valley Creek watershed is complete, members of the McCloud Community Services District and California Trout hope they can keep some of its sensors up and running.

“If we can continue the study, we’d learn more about stream flow,” said Curtis Knight of Cal Trout. “The more information we have, the better.”

In a press release from Nestle Waters North America, who funded the approximately $1 million study after the company halted plans to build a bottling plant in McCloud, the company could have taken as much as 3.2 cubic feet per second of water from the creek without diminishing water quality or harming the ecosystem.

Some in the community, however, believe the study isn’t entirely conclusive because the water diversion study was only conducted over six weeks. (The entire study took two years to complete.) MCSD board member Diane Lowe still believes such water extraction would have negatively impacted the area.   Continue reading

Crystal Geyser cancels plans for Orland bottling plant

By HEATHER HACKING Staff Writer
Posted: 11/08/2011 10:49:13 AM PST
ORLAND – Plans for a Crystal Geyser Sparkling Water Company bottling plant in Orland have been withdrawn.
The company had planned to build a facility at the edge of town, but faced opposition from many citizens who said it wasn’t a good fit for a variety of reasons.
The most vocal opposition was from a group named Save Our Water Resources, which cited traffic, noise, groundwater quality, pollution and storm water and sewer impacts.
Two lawsuits were filed, stating proper procedures were not followed by the city under California Environmental Quality Act guidelines. In August a Sacramento Superior Court judge ruled the water company needed to go back and conduct an initial study, and after that, it would be decided if a full environmental review was needed.
The water company, in a statement on its website today, crystalgeyserorland.com, stated that the company was impressed by the pool of applicants who had inquired about jobs.
But due to the “uncertain timing of completion of a new Orland plan and the open-ended nature of ongoing legal expenses, it would be best for the company to locate our new facilities in another area.”
The plans for the bottling plant had been in the works for more than two years.

Skagit County Climate Change Study

Skagit County Planning and Development Services, Wash., released a climate change study on the Skagit River Basin. The Climate Impacts Group/University of Washington conducted the study for Envision Skagit 2060. The website includes links to the following:

  • Executive Summary
  • Basin Overview
  • Climate Variability
  • Climate Change Scenarios
  • Glaciers
  • Hydrology
  • Geomorphology
  • Ecosystems
  • Human Systems
  • Complete Report

 See http://www.skagitcounty.net/Common/asp/default.asp?d=EnvisionSkagit&c=General&P=reports.htm.

Bigger Than Nestlé

In Oct. 2010, Mayor Dean Maxwell of Anacortes, Wash., signed a water contract with Tethys Enterprises (a venture capital company) to build the largest bottled water/beverage and food production plant in the United States—bigger than the Nestlé bottled water plant in Hollis, Maine. The Hollis plant is entitled close to one million gallons of water per day. Tethys Enterprises is entitled to five million gallons of municipal water per day.

Anacortes, population 15,778, is located on Fidalgo Island in the northwest corner of Washington State. A colorful history of mills and manufacturing define the town’s growth from the 1890s to the 1960s. Citizens at one time proudly called Anacortes the City of Smoke Stacks, the downtown waterfront referred to as Mill Row.

Primary employment included a dozen fish processing plants, ten shingle mills and three sawmills, a pulp mill, a plywood mill, box mills and brick and glass factories and boat building. Eventually fish and lumber depletion and changes in consumer demand changed the face of employment. The plywood mill operated until 1990. Marinas appeared where canneries and mills had been located. Tour-based industries grew due to the island’s easy access to the San Juan Islands. Today, Anacortes is comprised of high tech, chemical, food, engineered wood products and marine-associated companies. Boat building successfully continues. Shell Oil Company and Tesoro Corporation built refineries in the 1950s where agricultural lands had once thrived.

Due to the concept of peak oil—when the maximum rate of global petroleum extraction is reached, after which the rate of production enters terminal decline—the Anacortes City Council and Mayor are scared of the jobs outlook regarding the Shell and Tesoro refineries, in part due to declining Alaska North Slope oil production.

In order to guarantee future jobs, Mayor Dean Maxwell and the Anacortes City Council are seeking water-intensive industries. They regard the Skagit River, the region’s major potable water source, as a business recruitment tool. The City of Anacortes is the region’s largest water purveyor, and its entitled authority holds senior water rights. Anacortes serves about 56,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers.

The City of Anacortes has calculated a 20-year municipal water demand that estimates residential, commercial and industrial use for the next 17 years to 2029, based on historical figures. A 17-year water calculation that does not include climate change studies is unacceptable. Complications include a prediction of 100,000 more people moving into the Skagit River Valley. Since changes in climate will influence Skagit River flows and Seattle City Light acquires 20-25 percent of it electricity from the Skagit River, who gets the water when the going gets rough? We have yet neither answers nor solutions due to a mindset that there is no urgency for long-term water conservation in a changing climate. A contract for the largest bottled water/beverage and food production plant in the United States that uses five million gallons of water per day is foolhardy.

        Defending Water is of the opinion that the City of Anacortes neglected due diligence. As evidence of Tethys Enterprises’ questionable business accountability, consider first its recently failed contractual one-year provision to acquire land by Sept. 30, 2011. The City of Anacortes extended this contract provision to Dec. 1, 2012. Second, Tethys Enterprises is a start-up corporation without a record of accomplishment. Third, Tethys allowed its Washington State corporate registration to expire on March 1, 2011. After Defending Water in the Skagit River Basin pointed out the failure publicly, Tethys reinstated its corporate registration to Nov. 30, 2011.

        Although the contract between the City of Anacortes and Tethys guarantees no number of local jobs, the Anacortes City Council is counting on Tethys’ questionable promise of 500 jobs in a highly tech, automated plant. Jobs are expected in exchange for the following:

  • Plastic bottles that plague our landfills and oceans.
  • Five million gallons a day of our potable water source.
  • Rail car traffic of 700-800 railcars per day through neighboring towns. (Anacortes itself will experience no rail car traffic.)
  • Future compromise of the Anacortes waste water plant.
  • Future unknowns of the Anacortes water treatment plant in connection with climate change.

         Anacortes can do better.

 Climate change, population pressures and pollution urgently mandate governments at all levels to manage and share the Skagit River in a sustainable fashion that meets the needs of nature, society and the economy. No single entitled authority need build its kingdom at the expense of others.

Over the past year, Defending Water in the Skagit River Basin has hosted educational presentations. Speakers included scientists from the Climate Impacts Group of the University of Washington. In addition, we have presented the award-winning documentary TAPPED and a virtual bottled water tour that addresses the processes, operations and scale of mega bottling plants.

        Defending Water in the Skagit River Basin is a grass-roots organization. We encourage communities to build water-sustainable businesses that provide good jobs. We encourage nationwide networking, so that we are all heard in one strong voice.

Sandra Spargo
Defending Water in the Skagit River Basin
Anacortes, Washington