For years, Nestlé Waters has been bottling up billions of dollars worth of spring water around the world. Now, they’re trying to obtain a permit to pump up to 1.152 million gallons of water a day from Ginnie Springs in Florida, all in the name of bottled water.
Ginnie Springs’ crystal clear waters feed into the Santa Fe River and are a popular destination for scuba diving, snorkeling, tubing and the like. Nestle’s plans to bottle up the water have caused quite the controversy.
The Suwannee River Water Management District declared the Santa Fe River to be “in recovery” after years of overpumping. Critics say the river can not handle losing such a large amount of water. Nestlé denies these claims.
“Springwater is a rapidly renewable resource when managed correctly. Nestlé Waters North America is committed to the highest level of sustainable spring water management at all of the springs we manage,” Nestlé Waters North America said in a written statement on its website. “We have worked to be a good neighbor in Florida for decades. Our commitment goes beyond just caring about the water. We value our relationships with Florida residents and community leaders, and always strive to create shared value within the communities where we operate.”
But many disagree. Those opposing the permit are asking people to speak up. Our Santa Fe River, a non-profit working to protect the river’s waters and lands, has even provided detailed instructions about how to oppose the permit.
Nonetheless, Nestlé is preparing to bottle up the H2O with the expectation their permit will be approved. They’ve spent millions of dollars buying and upgrading a water bottling plant pumping water from Ginnie Springs that has operated since 1998. The plant previously had a 20-year permit (1999-2019) held by Seven Springs. Seven Springs has applied to renew the permit. If it’s approved, they will continue selling the water they pump to Nestlé.
Now, aside from their request to pump 1.152 million gallons of water per day, up to 428.48 million gallons a year, Nestlé will also be putting the water from Ginnie Springs in single-use plastic bottles. But here’s the thing: it’s 2019 and the world is experiencing a plastic pollution epidemic. Not sure if you’ve heard, but it’s snowing microplastics in Antarctica. Bottled water was once seen as a convenience, but now it’s more of a curse. Only 9 percent of plastics are recycled, which is even more depressing when you think about how many more bottles Nestlé is striving to produce for their portfolio of bottled water brands:
- Acqua Panna
- Poland Spring
- Ice Mountain
- Deer Park
- Nestlé Pure Life
- S. Pellegrino
There are so many alternatives to bottled water.
- You can use a reusable water bottle and fill it with tap water. Not only will this save you money over time, you’ll feel good about what you’re doing to save the planet.
- If tap water isn’t your jam, you can purchase water filters that attach to your faucet or that come in a pitcher. You could even go all out and get a filtration system added to your home’s plumbing system.
- Or, if bottled water is your only source of clean, drinking water, buy in bulk and get a gallon, or even a refillable 5-gallon jug, for your home. Most grocery stores have filtered water refill stations that cost a fraction of what a case of single-use plastic water bottles costs.
Now, we do understand that sometimes there isn’t a way around bottled water. Natural disasters, for example, often call for bottled water since drinking water can be unhealthy to consume. With this exception in mind, we challenge you to make a statement: stop buying bottled water. Let’s remind Nestlé that it’s 2019, something needs to be done to save the environment. They need to put the planet before their profits.