Water Wars: Policies for Sustainable Water Use


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Finding an equitable balance of water rights for people, the planet, and profits.

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  • 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
                Sustain ecosystems
                Preserve water sources for future generations
                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

    1. 1. 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
    2. 2. Water Wars
    3. 3. Nestlé Waters Brands
    4. 4. Nestlé Waters • Bottles more than Niagara Falls • Inequitable community compensation • Little to no accountability
    5. 5. The Battle of Michigan • Economic Inequality  $63,000 for 99-year lease • $636/year  $1.8 million / day revenues  $10 million 10-year tax abatement
    6. 6. The Battle of Michigan • Social/Environmental Impacts  Wells dried up  Continued pumping during drought  Intimidated vocal citizens
    7. 7. The Water Cycle • Closed system • Water that serves the community stays in the community
    8. 8. Communities Ecosystems Shareholders $ Customers
    9. 9. Does it have to be a war? If long-term sources of water are lost Neither companies nor communities can survive
    10. 10. ...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...
    11. 11. Nestlé Sustainability Agenda • Plastic content reduction in bottles • LEED certified facilities • Recycling Initiatives
    12. 12. “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
    13. 13. Communities Ecosystems Shareholders $ Customers
    14. 14. Sustainability Evaluation 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 enterprises NO
    15. 15. Policy Recommendations • Required Community Buy-in • Equitable Compensation for Resource Removal Economic equality for individuals Economic equality for communities
    16. 16. Policy Recommendations • Improved Environmental Impact Research • Incentives for Alternative Sustainable Sourcing Techniques Preserve the Environment
    17. 17. Policy Recommendations • Conservation Education • Efficiency Initiatives • Public-Private Partnerships Around Water Issues Increase the flow of capital to purpose-driven enterprises
    18. 18. BenefitsThank You