California water officials have moved to stop Nestlé from siphoning millions of gallons of water out of California’s San Bernardino forest, which it bottles and sells as Arrowhead brand water, as drought conditions worsen across the state.
Nestlé has maintained that its rights to California spring water dates back to 1865.
Last year the company drew out about 58m gallons, far surpassing the 2.3m gallons per year it could validly claim.
Nestlé has sucked up, on average, 25 times as much water as it may have a right to, according to the Story of Stuff Project, an environmental group that has been fighting to stop the bottled water company’s pumping in California for years.
“We have a limited amount of water, said Julé Rizzardo, the assistant deputy director of the Division of Water Rights.
Strawberry Creek, which Nestlé has been pumping from, is a tributary of the Santa Ana river, which provides drinking water for about about 750,000 residents.
It paid the Forest Service a permit fee of $2,100 per year, but had been pumping water for free. »