Nestle extracted 36
million gallons of water from a national forest in California last year to sell
as bottled water, even as Californians were ordered to cut their water use
because of an historic drought in the state.
And the permit Nestle
that uses to operate its water pipeline in the San Bernardino national forest
costs just $524 a year.
That rankles some
residents and environmental groups who want the US government to cut off
Nestle's access to the water until an environmental study can be conducted.
Nestle has the legal
rights to the water, and Arrowhead water has been bottled from springs here
Yet the firm's permit to
operate this seven mile pipeline in the mountains expired in 1988, though since
it pays its yearly $524, the licence is still considered valid by the US Forest
Service and by Nestle.
consider the permit expired and the US government is now reviewing Nestle's
license. A public comment period has just closed and this month a federal
hearing will consider the legality of the permit.
"The forest service
should protect the forest," says Amanda Frye, a local resident who's
becoming known as a water rights activist. "A healthy forest produces a
healthy population of people. We need the forest."
In : Drought