Nestle is stealing our public water, and the State of Michigan is letting them. Give now to this cause and empower the public to win the battle for the soul of water.
In the heart of the most significant freshwater system in the world, an epic battle is raging over who owns the water – and how much damage a corporate giant can do to fragile streams and wetlands. Citizens want to fight back, but taking on a corporate Goliath is expensive.
Nestlé, a Swiss transnational food and drink company, came to Michigan in 2001 to establish a water extraction, bottling and sale business. They are turning freshwater into a profit center in a 21st Century of water scarcity. With the support of state officials but in defiance of hundreds of concerned citizens, Nestlé, in essence, started taking fresh water - a public resource – and turned it into a private treasure. This is a departure from 1500 years of common law and a threat to turn control of water over to a private cartel.
In a David vs. Goliath battle, Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation took Nestlé to court in 2002 and won a historic victory, limiting Nestlé’s water extraction to protect local water resources. MCWC raised more than $1 million for the litigation through everything from car washes to bake sales. But despite the win, politicians passed a law sanctioning water extraction as just another use. It is not. It is a betrayal of the public trust.
Last week, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality granted Nestlé a 60% increase in the volume of water it can extract and sell – a move a former Republican member of Congress from Michigan has called “reckless.” Some 80,000 citizens formally commented against the increase – while only 75 supported it. The DEQ acknowledged it doesn’t even have the data to be sure the increase won’t damage local hydrology. Existing laws can't stop this obvious wrong from happening.
David has to take on Goliath again. This battle is about more than a single, damaging withdrawal – this is about whether corporations or the people will make decisions about the future of the freshwater that is essential to life.
Make A Real Difference
Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation (MCWC) urgently needs funding to challenge this reckless new water withdrawal permit. FLOW (For Love of Water) urgently needs funding to write a new law that will reform state policies and prevent future unfair water withdrawals.
Nestlé is stealing our public water, and the state is letting them. Giving now to this cause will empower the public to win the battle for the soul of water.
With Your Support, We Can Do This Together
This is a joint project of two nonprofits working together for a common cause:
FLOW (For Love of Water) is a water policy nonprofit founded by environmental trial attorney Jim Olson. Jim has 40 years of experience as an environmental, water, and public interest law advocate and champion, dedicated to protecting waters and ecosystems. FLOW protects and preserves the extraordinary and essential natural resource endowment and applies public trust principles to educate, advance policy, and provide solutions to the critical water, energy and climate issues facing our region, nation, and the planet.
Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation was organized in 2000 to protect our water resources from corporate theft. As an all-volunteer nonprofit organization, its members live in the bullseye of Nestlé's extraction and bottling operation in Michigan. FLOW's Jim Olson litigated their first lawsuit against Nestlé.
MCWC is also a Benefitting Charity.