Last year, news broke that Nestlé, the largest bottled water producer in the world, had been extracting water from the drought-stricken San Bernardino National Forest, on a permit that was supposed to expire in 1988 — and hadn’t been re-evaluated by the U.S. Forest Service in nearly 40 years!
Now, the Forest Service is proposing to renew Nestlé’s permit for another five years, even as drought conditions persists in the western U.S.1
That’s unacceptable. But our pressure can make a difference. The latest Forest Service plan comes after intense public pressure on the agency, including petitions from more than 190,000 CREDO activists. In a major step forward, the proposal triggers a re-evaluation of the impact of Nestlé’s water withdrawals under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). We have to make sure the review is as comprehensive as possible, which will show that Nestlé’s water extraction must be put to a stop.
Tell the U.S. Forest Service: Conduct a comprehensive review and put a stop to Nestlé’s water extraction in the San Bernardino National Forest. Submit a comment now.
Nestlé has been taking a self-reported 25 million gallons a year from the forest’s Strawberry Creek — which is only at 10 percent of its 90—year average level.2 As the water level drops over the summer, Nestlé’s continued withdrawals pose risk to the creek ecosystem by making water levels even lower.
Incredibly, Nestlé pays only $524 (yes, five hundred and twenty four dollars!) each year to draw out the tens of millions of gallons it sells to the public under the Arrowhead Mountain label.
But this isn’t just about Nestlé or the San Bernardino National Forest — it’s a symbol of a much deeper problem in federal lands management that continues to prioritize corporate profits over protecting and preserving public resources.
Sally Jewell, secretary of the Department of the Interior, recently laid out a vision for re-evaluating our federal lands management to prioritize protection and preservation.3 But the U.S. Forest Service, which is under the Department of Agriculture, controls a full 25 percent of federal lands.
Pushing for the Forest Service to stop rubber-stamping Nestlé’s corporate water profiteering sends an important signal in the fight to preserve our public lands and resources.
Submit a comment now urging the Forest Service to stop Nestlé’s water extraction.
- "Agency proposes 5-year Nestle bottled water permit
," Desert Sun News, 3/18/16
- "After years, review of Nestle water permit to begin," Desert Sun News, 8/24/15
- "Interior Secretary Sally Jewell is calling for "a major course correction" in the way the nation conserves its public lands Associated Press, 4/19/16