Swiss company Nestlé stands accused of having overdrawn water from California’s San Bernardino National Park. According to environmental groups, Nestlé had been diverting an average of 192 acre-feet of water per year from the forest, or about 160-acre-feet more than what was agreed under its current water rights.
California’s Water Board now confirm the allegations made against Nestlé Waters and state that the multimillion-dollar corporation has no legal claim to overdraw more than what was agreed.
Mr Michael O’Heaney, representing one of the environmental groups opposed to Nestlé’s operations, stated: “As the people of California grieve the loss of life, livelihood, and land that has been devastated by this year’s tragic wildfires, we have a moral imperative to safeguard water.”
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“This ruling shows that our precious resources must be managed with consideration for the needs of the environment and future generations.”
Given the massive damage and loss caused by the various wildfires that California witness in 2017, water has become a much sought-after resource for first responders, so environmental groups took the complaints against Nestlé very serious.
Nestlé bottles water from Strawberry Creek under its Arrowhead brand. The complaints accuse Nestlé of diverting water without rights, of making unreasonable use of water and of putting injury to public trust resources.
The company responded to the ruling of the Water Board via spokesperson Alix Dunn: “We are pleased that they have confirmed we have a right to these ‘authorized diversions,’ and we will continue to operate lawfully according to these existing rights and will comply fully with California law.”
“We look forward to cooperating with the state during the review process and to providing the necessary documents to supplement the state’s report, including producing information requested from over a century ago, to the extent that it is available.”