Nestlé’s Troubled Waters
End the extraction and return the people’s water to public control!
About This Campaign
For decades, Nestlé Waters – the world’s largest water bottler – has bought up access to public water across North America to turn our most precious public resource into a private commodity.
Paying next to nothing in royalties, Nestlé makes billions of dollars a year selling our water. In communities across North America, the pattern repeats itself: Nestlé enters a local town making promises of local job opportunities and the highest sustainability and environmental standards to its water bottling operations. Over time the surrounding communities see a trail of broken promises, environmental degradation and a struggle to regain access to their dwindling water supplies.
Nestlé is now seeking a final pay-off by selling off its North American bottled water brands to private equity profiteers in a more than $4 billion deal. Yet despite this sale, Nestlé continues to fight for extensions and expansions to its water permits across an entire continent in an effort to package a profitable business venture for the next corporation.
In the context of a global pandemic and increasing droughts and wildfires across North America, it’s clearer than ever that water should be owned by and for the people. All too often over recent years, we’ve seen water being privatized and sold in plastic packaging that’s accelerating a waste crisis instead.
Over recent years, The Story of Stuff Project has supported and partnered with communities across the US and Canada fighting to take back public control of their water. We’re shining a spotlight on five of Nestlé’s bottling operations that have generated fierce backlash resulting from the impact to the surrounding communities and their ecosystems.
Meet Nestlé’s Troubled Waters
Nestlé’s operations across these five sites have left a legacy of broken promises, ecological damage, and a lack of water access. In conjunction with leaders from each of the communities concerned, we’re demanding that Nestlé return these bottling sites back to public control as part of the sale of its water brands:
San Bernardino National Forest, California
Despite California’s battles with drought and forest fires, Nestlé has spent years paying virtually nothing to pull water from our public lands to the detriment of the local ecosystem.
White Pine Springs
While nearby communities like Flint lack access to safe, public, drinking water, Nestlé seeks to ramp up its water extraction, despite existing harm to local streams.
Following decades of extraction, Nestlé received a precedent-setting 45 year extraction permit. They face an ongoing legal case for their claims that the source is spring water, when in reality it comes from a well drilled deep into the aquifer near the spring site.
Nestlé Waters Canada Aberfoyle Complex
Wellington County, Ontario, Canada
A long-standing dispute continues between Nestlé and the surrounding communities as advocates seek to phase out all water removal permits for bottlers.
Ruby Mountain Springs
Chaffee County, Colorado
Amid broken promises and bitter public opposition, Nestlé is seeking to extend its permit to extract water for another decade.
High Springs, FL
Nestlé wants permission to increase withdrawals to over 1 million gallons a day, further threatening the endangered Santa Fe River’s iconic freshwater springs.
Read our public statement on Nestlé’s sale
Together with dozens of local grassroots groups and national organizations, we’re demanding oversight of one of the largest transfers of private water wealth in modern history.