July 13

Nestlé offered permit to continue taking water from California watershed

In a file photo from 2004, a sign at the entrance to the Arrowhead Mountain Spring Water Company bottling plant, owned by Swiss conglomerate Nestlé, on the Morongo Indian Reservation near Cabazon, Calif. (National Public Radio)

The U.S. Forest Service has offered Nestlé a three-year permit to continue drawing millions of gallons of water from the San Bernardino National Forest.

Under the offer, Nestlé Waters North America — the largest bottled-water company in the country — will be allowed to keep taking water from the Strawberry Creek watershed. That watershed is currently rated as “impaired” and the extraction is to be allowed “when there is water available consistent with the forest’s Land Management Plan,” according to The Associated Press, citing the offer.

Nestlé, which bottles the water under its Arrowhead brand, has 60 days to decide whether to accept the terms of the offer, the AP says.

As NPR’s Bill Chappell reported in December, Nestlé, a division of the Swiss food company, says it took an average of 62.6 million gallons of water from the San Bernardino spring each year from 1947 to 2015, but a two-year investigation by California’s State Water Board found that it lacked legal permits for much of that water.

READ MORE: https://www.npr.org/2018/06/28/624156334/nestl-offered-permit-to-continue-taking-water-from-california-stream