While California waits for the black cloud of drought to dissipate, legislators are taking strict actions, banning restaurants from serving water unless a customer requests it and, most recently, placing a mandatory 25 percent water reduction sanction on residents. As the state drought, one of the worst in its history, continues to worsen, residents are scratching their heads over why Nestlé, a California-based company, has been allowed to continue bottling water. More than 135,000 residents have signed a petition to shut down Nestlé’s water-bottling facilities immediately.
“With people across California doing their part to conserve water — it’s time that Nestlé did the right thing and put people over profits by immediately halting their water bottling operations in Cabazon, California, and across the state,” explained Eddie Kurtz, executive director of the California-based Courage Campaign, which is leading the fight against Nestlé. “And if Nestlé won’t do what’s right to protect California’s precious water supply, it is up to the State Water Resource Control Board to step in and stop this blatant misuse of water during this epic drought.”
According to Salon, Nestlé pumps out 2,000 to 2,500 gallons of water annually, producing one billion bottles of water every year. Nestlé is actually exempt from the water sanctions, according to Salon, because they have a 25-year contract with the Morongo Band of Cahuilla Mission Indians to draw water from nearby wells and natural springs on the reservation lands. Residents say, according to SF Weekly, that it’s completely unfair that they’re measuring how much water is exactly necessary to boil pasta while Nestlé continues to suck precious springs dry and sell that water in plastic bottles.