Bottled Water Giant Nestle Coming to Most Threatened River Delta in America?

Aerial View of Sacramento River Delta Photo

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That's right, reports the Sacramento News & Review, - Nestle Waters North America has pulled out of its bid to get water from McCloud, near Mt. Shasta and instead is setting up shop in Sacramento. We reported just this year that this area is the #1 most threatened river basin, so why would a water bottling company come here of all places? Is there anything you can do? Click through the jump to find out more.If you've seen FLOW or any of the other recent documentaries about water rights, you know that one of the (many) problems with bottled water is that local communities are sold on the idea of having cheaper water rates through privatized water and instead end up oftentimes without water. While this program does not include privatizing water, it does give water right to a company, when the rest of the community is under tight water restrictions. Communities looking to fight off big water are in for a serious battle, though recently Flagstaff, AZ gave Nestle Waters the boot, which would essentially do the same thing the company is proposing in Sacramento.

The plan by Nestle Waters North America would allow for the construction of a new bottling facility (to be opened by January 2010 in South Sacramento) plus an estimated usage of 30 million gallons of city water each year. An additional 20 million gallons would be trucked in from "private springs" with no word on where these springs are located. Bottling 50 million gallons of water equals an additional 800 million new plastic water bottles being introduced into the environment.Some city utility departments estimate that it could be much higher - say 78 to 116 million gallons of water each year. In addition, Nestle would be purchasing water at cheap, industrial rates (roughly $1 for every 750 gallons) and then selling the water back at much higher rates per bottle.

Sacramento recently passed a pretty extensive Sustainability Master Plan, and many locals are wondering how allowing a bottled water company to come in and use millions of gallons of water for bottled water fits into that plan. Sacramento is also in its third year of drought, so clearly not an area with an overabundance of water, especially at this time. Mayor Kevin Johnson says this plan will allow for new jobs and new growth in the city.

So, if you live in the Sacramento area, is there anything you can do? Save Our Water, a non-profit, is holding a meeting Monday, September 28 at 6:30pm (1812 J Street, Suite 16) to talk about how to get the city council involved and to generally get ready to put up your dukes. :Sacramento News & Review :Save Our Water
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