Nestle Expands Water Bottling to Arkansas River
Nestle bottles and sells spring water, which is normally sourced from California and other locations but as a result of the severe drought, now takes their water from the Arkansas River near Buena Vista, another drought area.
Nestle is the umbrella company for many bottled water brands including Perrier, San Pellegrino, Ozarka, Poland Spring, Callistoga, Deer Park, Ice Mountain, and Zephyrhills. The water that is sourced from Colorado is labeled as Arrowhead, a name many are familiar with.
Nestle Approved to Extract Water in Colorado
Chaffee County approved Nestle’s application to extract water despite not meeting the criteria back in 2009 and Nestle can legally draw water from these Colorado aquifers. This means that Nestle draws anywhere between 250-510 million gallons of water each year from the Colorado River Basin and Arkansas River.
Ecosystems at Risk for Profit
Depleting crucial water from an ecosystem like the one surrounding Salida and the Arkansas River has deep impacts on the plant, wildlife, locals, and tourism around the area. The Colorado River Basin also supplies water to 40 million Americans. Where people usually get water for free or at a minimum cost, Nestle extracts this basic need for survival, bottles it, marks it up, and pockets about $4 billion per year in sales. Why buy bottled water when you can get it for free?
On their website, Nestle states that they manage about 14,000 acres of natural watershed around 50 spring water sources and monitor the levels to ensure that they are replenished. Springs are where water first emerges from the earth but Nestle is known to pump ground water too.
Unethical Behavior of Nestle
Although Nestle says they are concerned with the environmental impact of removing spring water, they are frequently under fire for their questionable ethics. While obtaining the land around water sources, Nestle limits the access of the water by locals. In 2003, one of their brands, Poland Spring, was sued for false advertising as their “spring water” was actually pumped ground water that is heavily treated.
Although it’s called Poland Springs, the water comes from multiple sources around Maine, one of which is the city of Poland. In addition, the water source stands over a former dump and below an illegal disposal site that was fertilized using sprayed human waste.
When water is already pretty much free and sourced ethically, why buy water from a company that just moves from one drought area to another with deceptive marketing? Reusable water bottles are very affordable and filling up from the tap or filtering with a pitcher at home cuts back drastically on costs and keeps plastic bottles out of the streets, nature, and landfills. In 2012, only 9% of plastic waste was recycled.
Let’s keep our planet healthy, sustainable, and a beautiful place to enjoy outdoors.
At Wilderness Aware Rafting, we love rafting and being on clean, healthy rivers. We are rated #1 on TripAdvisor and we offer exciting Colorado Rafting Trips, and Salt River whitewater rafting trips. Contact us today for more information.