WATER-covers 71% of Earth 97.5% saltwater 2.5% Fresh 1% Available for use .34% renewable Humans use ½ of worlds accessible fresh water. By 2050 7 billion people May face H2O scarcity, 2 billion will for sure. You think running out of oil is a disaster? You can always ride a bike, imagine a world running out of water. Water bottling companies are profiting from the exploitation of already-scarce, precious water resources. This is our water, make no mistake about it, this is a WAR!
The enemy I want to focus on today is Nestle Waters. 7 brands in the US, 62 worldwide, so they are a major adversary in this war.
Michigan example Paid $63,000 for 99-year lease. Generated $1.8 million per day in revenues Got $10 million tax abatement for 10 years. Hired private investigators to intimidate outspoken citizens. Wells, irrigation sources dried up. Continued pumping during drought.
2005 Makosta Cty. Community sued, won, demanded Nestle stopped pumping. Nestle appealed to keep pumping during appeal, granted. December 2005-Nestle was ordered to cut pumping by about half (450gal/miin to 218gal/min) Citizens sued again, Nestle appealed and counter-sued, saying it was unconstitutional for citizens to sue them.-Won Despicable, this is exactly why it’s imperative that we take action now!
As you may remember from science class, the water cycle is a closed system. Water is evaporated, falls as rain, fills streams and lakes, and recharges groundwater supplies. When it is used by humans, the water is returned and remains within the local area.
This system is disrupted when companies like Nestle Waters begin bottling water and removing it from the system. The value of the ecosystem services enjoyed by the local communities is transferred to distant external stakeholders like customers and shareholders.
But is doesn’t have to be a war. Scarcity and related problems pose material risks but can also, when well managed, create opportunities for improvement and innovation. This is an opportunity to find common ground between companies and communities.
Our coalition defines a sustainable process as one that can continue indefinitely, taking into account its true inputs, outputs and context so that it does not jeopardize the environment in which it operates or the people and resources on which it depends. The system we have presented is not sustainable.
Nestle has already taken steps towards environmental sustainability including… This is an opportunity for Nestle to bring its social sustainability in line with its environmental sustainability. Their track record has not been shown to align with the statements made in their CSR Report, website, and other promotional material. Even well-meaning companies sometimes need a little bit of regulatory motivation to help them do the right thing. This is opportunity for just that.
Nestle Waters talks a good talk, but room for improvement exists. The CEO of Nestle Waters has already stated the desire to work with communities and to support initiatives to protect groundwater.
Since Nestle and other water bottling companies are already committing to sustainability, we have the opportunity to change to a system that honors all participants.
We envision a system where, instead of Nestle at the center, blocking the flow and extracting all the value, the water is the center and all stakeholders can benefit
We have identified 4 fundamental criteria of beneficial production methods. These criteria were developed by a third party sustainable business certification organization called B-Corp. Our goal is to make these criteria the industry standard. We need to maximize the benefits derived from our limited supplies of water and these criteria give us the framework to do so. As elected officials, you, Congressmen, have the opportunity to introduce legislation that will help protect access to water for all. We strongly encourage you to introduce legislation regulating the water bottling that reflect these criteria: By requiring all companies to comply with these recommendations, Nestle and other companies will be able to maintain competitive edge while enabling achievement of stated social and environmental goals.
Advocate for Regulations to include: Equitable Compensation for Resource Removal Required Stakeholder (community) buy-in More Intensive Environmental Impact Research Incentives for alternative sustainable sourcing techniques Efficiency Initiatives, funded by public/private partnerships
More Intensive Environmental Impact Research to explore long term effects of water extraction. Incentives for alternative sustainable sourcing techniques rainwater collection water purification
Conservation Initiatives Efficiency Initiatives Funded by public/private partnerships
People Increased Stakeholder Involvement Local Community Town Halls, Elections Efficiency Initiatives, funded by public/private partnerships Planet Sustain ecosystems Preserve water sources for future generations Profits Less Litigation Fees Improved Goodwill & Intangibles Sustained Water Sources = Sustained Profits Alternative water sourcing techniques could cut costs
Water Wars: Policies for Sustainable Water Use
Sustainable Water for All
A call to action for federal regulation of
the water bottling industry
Jacob Blackshear, Justin Bean, Jenn Coyle
Team 9ers, December 16, 2009
Does it have to be a war?
If long-term sources of water are lost
Neither companies nor communities can survive
...must be able to continue indefinitely,
taking into account its true inputs, outputs
and context so that it does not jeopardize
the environment in which it operates or the
people and resources on which it depends.
A Sustainable Process...
“We support legislation that protects
groundwater for future generations”
“We are committed to respecting the
interests of our neighbours and the
communities where we do business.”
Nestlé Sustainability Agenda
B-Corp Criteria: Beneficial Production Methods
Economic equality for individuals NO
Economic equality for communities NO
Preserve the environment NO
Increase the flow of capital to purpose-driven
• Required Community Buy-in
• Equitable Compensation for Resource
Economic equality for individuals
Economic equality for communities
• Improved Environmental Impact
• Incentives for Alternative Sustainable
Preserve the Environment
• Conservation Education
• Efficiency Initiatives
• Public-Private Partnerships Around
Increase the flow of capital to purpose-driven