This quote leads me to go beyond my own personal boycott of Nestle’ and Arrowhead and put this out to the blogosphere with a plea. We must do everything we can to turn around the unraveling of the climate. Our world is such a precious place. We cannot abide this sort of wanton disregard for the fragility of our home.
Nestle has two plants on the Colorado River Basin that take in water to bottle and sell under its Arrowhead and Pure Life brands. One is in Salida, Colorado, on the eastern edge of the Upper Basin; the other is in the San Gorgonio Pass, halfway between San Bernardino and Indio, Calif., on the western edge of the Lower Basin. According to annual reports filed up to 2009, Nestle bottles between 595 and 1,366 acre-feet of water per year — enough to flood that many acres under a foot of water — from the California source. The company takes 200 additional acre-feet per year from the Colorado source. This means altogether Nestle is draining the Colorado River Basin of anywhere from 250 million to 510 million gallons of water per year
Do the math. I know that from June first to the last day of July last year our household used 11,220 gallons of water. This year, even though we put in a more extensive vegetable garden than we did last year, we have used only 6,733 gallons for the same two months, nearly half as much as last year. A big portion of that may be due to having installed four 55 gallon rain barrels. Almost all of our garden watering has come from the rain that we have collected in those barrels. If we had to, we could use that water for drinking.
That means about 70,000 households our size, or about half of Elk Grove, the fastest growing city in the US just 8 years ago, could have their entire water needs met for a year with the amount of water Nestle is extracting from the Colorado River Basin for its own profit.
I think I would even rather drink out of our rain barrels if we had to than resort to Arrowhead water. For a short-lived disaster preparation plan, I would rather rely on a few large BPA free containers of relatively potable water than expect to go to a store and buy cases of individual servings of plastic encased water of dubious sources, especially when the source is a location struggling with the greatest drought it has in decades.
Which leads to my plea. If you are in the habit of buying Arrowhead or Pure Life brands, please consider an alternative. Please don’t buy ANY bottled water unless absolutely necessary. If you MUST buy bottled water, please do whatever it takes to avoid the Nestle’ brand. Maybe if we all stopped buying it they would have no reason to take it out of the river.