The letter below was written by OSFR President Mike Roth. We don’t need bottled water and we don’t need more pumping out of the Santa Fe River. Don’t buy bottled water.
Comments by OSFR historian Jim Tatum.
– A river is like a life: once taken,
it cannot be brought back © Jim Tatum
The biggest expenditure of Our Santa Fe River funds and energy this past year has been in trying to stop the Seven Springs Water Company (SSWC) water use permit that would allow them to sell about a million gallons a day of water siphoned from Ginnie Springs to Nestle Waters North America (Nestle) for bottling for resale. As you probably already know, SSWC would get this (our) water for free to sell it to Nestle who in turn would sell it – mostly out of our district – for massive profits. Meanwhile, we taxpayers are putting exorbitant amounts of tax dollars into restoring the very springs that they are depleting.
What you may not know is that High Springs is not the only community in this situation. There are several others, including:
- Arrowhead Complex, San Bernardino National Forest, California
- Ruby Mountain Springs, Chaffee County, Colorado
- White Pine Springs Evart, Michigan
- Aberfoyle Springs, Wellington County, Ontario
- Evergreen Springs, in Fryeburg, Maine
Now, as a pandemic fueled recession hurts the bottling water industry and the CEO of Nestle has conceded that environmental concerns have harmed their bottom line, Nestle is seeking to sell off its branded bottled water for a final pay-off.
The Story of Stuff Project, along with Sum of US (who helped OSFR with a highly successful petition effort in late 2019) launched petitions to Nestle’s potential buyers urging them to return the water extraction rights back to the public as part of the sale of Nestle’s North American bottled water brands, and they gathered over 100,000 petition signatures. They then teamed up with Campax, a progressive Swiss campaign organization that campaigns on the important issues of our time, to have the petitions delivered to Nestle headquarters in Switzerland on Thursday, November 19.
In delivering the powerful message that “Our Water is Not For Sale”, Our Santa Fe Rivcr supports the Story of Stuff Project is hoping to promote sustained opposition to Nestlé’s extraction at the regional “site fights” and promote negative press in the regional media through a joint letter to Nestle and their buyers outlining our shared demands. We are:
- signaling an international commitment and solidarity to exclude six bottling sites as part of any sale of Nestlé’s bottled water brands, including Ginnie Springs
- demonstrating real environmental problems to potential buyers, should they fail to meet our shared demands, and
- providing a boost to ongoing organizing efforts across the regional site fights.
Our Santa Fe River applauds the efforts of the Story of Stuff Project and others in taking what has been a hot local issue for us and projecting it as the international issue that it truly is. Anything that we can do to stop the privatization of our taxpayer funded public water resources – resources that all natural systems require to survive and to thrive – will hopefully be recognized and adopted by the public as an essential effort.
Please stay engaged in this matter, and when it comes to bottled water, “Don’t Buy This Stuff”!