Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

U.S. Allows Nestlé to Keep Piping Water From Drought-Ridden Southern California

Popular
utt73 / Flickr / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

The U.S. Forest Service offered Nestlé a three-year permit on Wednesday to keep taking millions of gallons of water from the San Bernardino National Forest in California, the Associated Press reported.

The offer has certain restrictions. Nestlé, which sells bottled water under the Arrowhead brand, can continue piping from the Strawberry Creek watershed "when there is water available consistent with the forest's Land Management Plan," according to the AP, citing the Forest Service offer. The watershed is currently rated as "impaired."


California has suffered from years of recurring drought. Last year's record-breaking rains in the state's north brought some relief, but large swaths of the south—where the forest is located—remain in "severe" drought, according to the latest data from the U.S. Drought Monitor.

Nestlé has 60 days to decide whether to accept the terms of the offer.

The Swiss food and beverage giant has been criticized by environmentalists for depriving the region's plants and animals of water. Additonally, the company had only paid an annual $524 permit fee to siphon off as much as 162 million gallons of water a year from Strawberry Creek and sell it back to the public in plastic bottles. Furthermore, that permit expired in 1988.

In 2015, the Forest Service was sued by environmental and public interest groups, who accused Nestlé of being allowed to operate its Strawberry Creek pipeline on a permit that expired 30 years ago.

The case was settled earlier this month, and required the agency to decide in 30 days whether or not to issue a new permit for the water pipeline and the company's associated activities in the San Bernardino National Forest.

Nestlé spokeswoman Alix Dunn told the AP the company provided 70 environmental studies during the application process and will "carefully review" the Forest Service offer.

"Californians are passionate about water and so are we," she added. "We take our responsibility as a California water steward seriously and Arrowhead's successful operations for more than a century point to our commitment to long-term sustainability."

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A man pushes his mother in a wheelchair down Ocean Drive in South Beach, Miami on May 19, 2020, amid the novel coronavirus pandemic. CHANDAN KHANNA / AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. reported more than 55,000 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, in a sign that the outbreak is not letting up as the Fourth of July weekend kicks off.

Read More Show Less
To better understand how people influence the overall health of dolphins, Oklahoma State University's Unmanned Systems Research Institute is developing a drone to collect samples from the spray that comes from their blowholes. Ken Y. / CC by 2.0

By Jason Bruck

Human actions have taken a steep toll on whales and dolphins. Some studies estimate that small whale abundance, which includes dolphins, has fallen 87% since 1980 and thousands of whales die from rope entanglement annually. But humans also cause less obvious harm. Researchers have found changes in the stress levels, reproductive health and respiratory health of these animals, but this valuable data is extremely hard to collect.

Read More Show Less

Sunscreen pollution is accelerating the demise of coral reefs globally by causing permanent DNA damage to coral. gonzalo martinez / iStock / Getty Images Plus

On July 29, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law a controversial bill prohibiting local governments from banning certain types of sunscreens.

Read More Show Less
Oat milk is popping up at coffee shops and grocery stores alike, quickly becoming one of the trendiest plant-based milks. jacqueline / CC by 2.0

By Kelli McGrane

Oat milk is popping up at coffee shops and grocery stores alike, quickly becoming one of the trendiest plant-based milks.

Read More Show Less

"Emissions from pyrotechnic displays are composed of numerous organic compounds as well as metals," a new study reports. Nodar Chernishev / EyeEm / Getty Images

Fireworks have taken a lot of heat recently. In South Dakota, fire experts have said President Trump's plan to hold a fireworks show is dangerous and public health experts have criticized the lack of plans to enforce mask wearing or social distancing. Now, a new study shows that shooting off fireworks at home may expose you and your family to dangerous levels of lead, copper and other toxins.

Read More Show Less
Billions worth of valuable metals such as gold, silver and copper were dumped or burned last year as electronic waste produced globally jumped to a record 53.6 million tons. Curtis Palmer / CC by 2.0

By Ashutosh Pandey

Billions worth of valuable metals such as gold, silver and copper were dumped or burned last year as electronic waste produced globally jumped to a record 53.6 million tons (Mt), or 7.3 kilogram per person, a UN report showed on Thursday.

Read More Show Less

Trending

A women walks with COVID-19 care kits distributed by Boston's Office of Neighborhood Services in Boston, Massachusetts on May 28, 2020. The pandemic has led to a rise in single-use plastic items, but reusable bags and cloth masks can be two ways to reduce waste. JOSEPH PREZIOSO / AFP via Getty Images

This month is Plastic Free July, the 31 days every year when millions of people pledge to give up single-use plastics.

Read More Show Less