Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Nestle Will Continue Shipping "Ice Mountain" Water From Michigan Spring

The big water bottler wins the right to keep on shipping Great Lakes water away from the basin, exploiting a deliberate loophole inserted in the Great Lakes Compact to keep businesses happy.

More information, here. And here, with regard to a Congressional hearing into the bottled water issue, thanks to Dave Dempsey, The Great Lakes Blogger and long-time regional activist and author.

The eight-state Compact allows companies to remove an unlimited of water as long as it is shipped in containers no larger than those big 5.7 gallon jugs that sit in office water dispensers.

And of course, in the many millions of smaller bottles you see in grocery stores, service stations and vending machines.

Environmentalists won a partial victory, getting Michigan regulators to reduce the amount of "Ice Mountain" (sic) water taken, but the loss to the basin is still more than 300,000 gallons a day.


Dave1 said...

If your concern is the plastci bottles used to contain that water, I completely agree with you ... shouldn't do it.

However, if your concern is the water lost from the basis, you don't have much an argument. 300,000 gallons represents about 0.2 seconds worth of flow (based on the average volume of Niagra falls) out of the basin. Hardly much of an impact.

Unless of course you think it is better to let it all flow to the Atlantic and become useless salinated water.

Melissa Scanlan said...

As many remember, Wisconsinites said "No Way Perrier" when Nestle-Perrier tried to set up an "ice mountain" bottling plant here in early 2000. Ironically, just after Michigan ends its multi-year fight against Nestle, Wisconsin is facing another major bottled water proposal -- this time from a company called Crystal Geyser. They want to take Wisconsin's spring water at a site in the town of Oxford, which is about 20 miles from the Big Springs site that Nestle tried to exploit. Here we go again...

James Rowen said...

To Dave1;

The plastic issue is a real one.

But so is the unregulated movement of water out of the basin, undercutting the core of the Compact.

Nestle is not the only bottler moving water out of the basin.

The supply is big, but it is not inexhaustible.