Horse News

Nestle Continues Stealing World’s Water During Drought

Before we get to our featured article below, it is important to note that the BLM continues to remove wild horses and burros because of “drought,” or because there’s “not enough” forage and water.  We know there is a “man-made” drought because the huge amount of water used by mining and other extractive industries (oil & gas).  Advocates need to be aware of all of the issues surrounding big users of water from our aquifers.   I’ve listed a few sources regarding California’s dire drought below, but there are similarities in other states and areas.

A recent Los Angeles Times editorial by the hydrologist Jay Famiglietti starkly warned: “California has about one year of water left.”

Sonali Kolhatkar recently wrote an article “To Solve California’s Water Crisis, We Must Change the Nation’s Food System.”  Residential use of water in California is about 4% and agricultural use is 80%.

Kolhatkar states:  “The truth is that California’s Central Valley, which is where the vast majority of the state’s farming businesses are located, is a desert. That desert is irrigated with enough precious water to artificially sustain the growing of one-third of the nation’s fruits and vegetables, a $40 billion industry.   Think about it. A third of all produce in the United States is grown in a desert in a state that has almost no water left.”

Kolhatkar also states “When water allocations from the federal government were cut, Central Valley farmers began drilling deep into the ground to pump water out of the state’s precious, ancient aquifer. Now, the pumping has gotten so out of control that water is being tapped faster than it can be replenished by rain or snowfall, leading to some parts of the land literally sinking. What’s worse, California’s farmers are irrigating their lands with water from a 20,000-year-old reserve, depleting and probably permanently damaging a reservoir that formed in the Pleistocene epoch.

Shockingly, until recently, California did not even regulate groundwater use, unlike states like Texas. Anyone could drill a well on their property and simply take as much water as they needed for their own use—a practice that dated back to the Gold Rush.”

The New York Times also recently ran a big article on the drought.  You can read it HERE.

Hopefully the links to articles above and the article below will give you some information on a few (of the many) issues with water and what is happening with our aquifers.  The wild horses and burros are “the canary in the coal mine.”   –  Debbie Coffey

Nestle Continues Stealing World’s Water During Drought


Nestlé is draining California aquifers, from Sacramento alone taking 80 million gallons annually.  Nestlé then sells the people’s water back to them at great profit under many dozen brand names.”


The Arrowhead Mountain Water Company bottling plant, owned by Swiss conglomerate Nestle, on the Morongo Indian Reservation near Cabazon, Calif. Photo credit: Damian Dovarganes

The city of Sacramento is in the fourth year of a record drought – yet the Nestlé Corporation continues to bottle city water to sell back to the public at a big profit, local activists charge.

The Nestlé Water Bottling Plant in Sacramento is the target of a major press conference on Tuesday, March 17, by a water coalition that claims the company is draining up to 80 million gallons of water a year from Sacramento aquifers during the drought.

The coalition, the crunchnestle alliance, says that City Hall has made this use of the water supply possible through a “corporate welfare giveaway,” according to a press advisory.

A coalition of environmentalists, Native Americans and other concerned people announced the press conference will take place at March 17 at 5 p.m. at new Sacramento City Hall, 915 I Street, Sacramento.

The coalition will release details of a protest on Friday, March 20, at the South Sacramento Nestlé plant designed to “shut down” the facility. The coalition is calling on Nestlé to pay rates commensurate with their enormous profit, or voluntarily close down.

“The coalition is protesting Nestlé’s virtually unlimited use of water – up to 80 million gallons a year drawn from local aquifers – while Sacramentans (like other Californians) who use a mere 7 to 10 percent of total water used in the State of California, have had severe restrictions and limitations forced upon them,” according to the coalition.

“Nestlé pays only 65 cents for each 470 gallons it pumps out of the ground – the same rate as an average residential water user. But the company can turn the area’s water around, and sell it back to Sacramento at mammoth profits,” the coalition said.

Activists say that Sacramento officials have refused attempts to obtain details of Nestlé’s water used. Coalition members have addressed the Sacramento City Council and requested that Nestle’ either pay a commercial rate under a two tier level, or pay a tax on their profit.

Warming Drought

Cracks in the dry bed of the Stevens Creek Reservoir in Cupertino, Calif. Photo credit: Marcio Jose Sanchez


In October, the coalition released a “White Paper” highlighting predatory water profiteering actions taken by Nestle’ Water Bottling Company in various cities, counties, states and countries. Most of those great “deals” yielded mega profits for Nestle’ at the expense of citizens and taxpayers. Additionally, the environmental impact on many of those areas yielded disastrous results. 

Coalition spokesperson Andy Conn said, “This corporate welfare giveaway is an outrage and warrants a major investigation. For more than five months we have requested data on Nestlé water use. City Hall has not complied with our request, or given any indication that it will. Sacramentans deserve to know how their money is being spent and what they’re getting for it. In this case, they’re getting ripped off.” 

For more information about the crunchnestle alliance, contact Andy Conn (530) 906-8077 camphgr55 (at) or Bob Saunders (916) 370-8251 

Nestlé is currently the leading supplier of the world’s bottled water, including such brands as Perrier and San Pellegrino, and has been criticized by activists for human rights violations throughout the world.  For example, Food and Water Watch and other organizations blasted Nestlé’s “Human Rights Impact Assessment” in December 2013 as a “public relations stunt.”

“The failure to examine Nestlé’s track record on the human right to water is not surprising given recent statements by its chair Peter Brabeck challenging the human right to water,” said Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director of Food & Water Watch.  She noted that the company famously declared at the 2000 World Water Forum in the Netherlands that water should be defined as a need—not as a human right.

“In November 2013, Colombian trade unionist Oscar Lopez Trivino became the fifteenth Nestlé worker to be assassinated by a paramilitary organization while many of his fellow workers were in the midst of a hunger strike protesting the corporation’s refusal to hear their grievances,” according to the groups. 

The press conference and protest will take place just days after Jay Famiglietti, the senior water scientist at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory/Caltech and a professor of Earth system science at UC Irvine, revealed in an op-ed in the LA Times on March 12 that California has only one year of water supply left in its reservoirs.

“As difficult as it may be to face, the simple fact is that California is running out of water — and the problem started before our current drought. NASA data reveal that total water storage in California has been in steady decline since at least 2002, when satellite-based monitoring began, although groundwater depletion has been going on since the early 20th century. 

Right now the state has only about one year of water supply left in its reservoirs, and our strategic backup supply, groundwater, is rapidly disappearing. California has no contingency plan for a persistent drought like this one (let alone a 20-plus-year mega-drought), except, apparently, staying in emergency mode and praying for rain.” 

Meanwhile, Governor Jerry Brown continues to fast-track his Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) to build the peripheral tunnels to ship Sacramento River water to corporate agribusiness, Southern California water agencies, and oil companies conducting fracking operations.

Read the rest of this article HERE.

16 replies »

  1. Debbie, many thanks for this. You are an awesome journalist and cover issues so well with facts. Some predict the next war will be over water and I believe it.
    I forgot how much water a cow will consume to make a pound of hamburger but it is many gallons yet the BLM lets millions of cattle graze on our public lands in the West, and CA has a big dairy business. If only poor cattle were not raised at all except a few for pets.


    • Thanks, Jan and Barbara, and we appreciate all of the information you share with everyone here.

      It’s all about the water. If there is not enough water, or if the water is contaminated in an aquifer (and there is inter flow between aquifers) there could be a food crisis.


  2. Great research Debbie. This Nestles plant sends trucks past my home into the mountains, pumping water out of the stream and creek heads and then trucks it back down the mountain using a company called Valley Farm Transport. They were very busy in my area – and then the fire started burning hundreds of thousands acres of El Dorado forest. I didn’t see a truck for a long time – maybe too easy to spot them without the tree cover. But slowly the caravan is building up – say a truck every couple of weeks, soon it will be back to once a day. But now we have timber moving
    down the hill. I seee a fully loaded truck everyday, sometimes two. Not every tree that was burnt died. The cutting is even the huge grandfather trees. They just needed an excuse.

    Have you looked into thhe biomass burning plants. Take a look with Google Earth or Satelitte to the areas of forests around biomass burning plants. What holds water in the watershed areas? Trees.

    It boggles ones mind to consider the damage these vicious busness interests are doing. Reminds me of the old days before the Environmental Movement happened. The excuse of huge immigration justifies much of this destruction. But really…

    There is much work to be done and everyone has to have all burners going.


    • Thanks, Geri. How could there possibly be water for these huge water users when there’s hardly any water left?


  3. While we are very well aware of the man made drought. I posted an article a couple weeks ago warned of horse owners to get their hay stocked up. I want to refer back to the interview Sue Wallis did stating the Wild Horses would suffer from Dehydration and starvation and as she stated Clearly Congress would Rue the Day. Her Doomsday would occur as she put it in 2015. So man made drought convenient or obligatory….you decide. The American deception while we have to worry for our borders and even our families as prices will spike and the public are gouged. I cant get what she said about the “feral horses impending doom with slaughter plants” out of my head. Forewarning? Either way theres always a scenario where the Wild Horses Need Americas help. A Mustang won the Freestyle event in the Mustang Makeover and an AQHA judge said there were not enough points to give (thats how awesome they were). Even AQHA sees theres tons of possibility and not only meat.


    • The only potential qh breeders or judges see is meat. It would scare the beejeebers out of me to think qh owners would be snatching up and breeding mustangs. NO!

      Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T


  4. If you may remember, Jessie Ventura, did a program on the Nestle Plant sucking water from the great lakes. It doesn’t matter to some of our politicians as long as it is putting money into their pockets. We have some issues here in Nv. Cities like Las Vegas is sucking the state dry so they can continue to grow. Water is our GOLD, if we are not on it soon, we will lose that too.


  5. Nestlé Subsidiary Tries to Sell Small Town it’s Own Water: Residents Fight Back


    Perhaps you’ve yet to hear of a little town called Fryeburg, Maine, USA. It sits on its own pristine aquifer, but once Nestlé subsidiary Poland Spring moved to town, residents noticed that their streams were getting smaller. It turns out, in its continued efforts to privatize water, the company was pumping the aquifer, and then selling the water back to town residents in bottles. Freyburg is fighting back, though.

    Nestlé has openly admitted that they don’t think water is a human right.
    PETER BRABECK-LETMATHE, the Chairman and CEO of Nestlé,
    stated so openly in public, only to back-paddle later once activists accused him of being singularly interested in corporate profits and not water conservation, as he claimed. You can see him admit his video


      • Agree. Removing native species that can add nitrogen to the soil to make the soil richer and increase plant growth reduces the amount of CO2 provided by animals. When water is scarce CO2 can help compensate for a lack of H20. So what does the BLM do? Remove our native horses and burros, the two species that have lived in the very places that are now turning the West into a Wasteland. Decisions made by Clinton administration DOI Secretary Bruce Babbitt to undam rivers used in agriculture to make sure those extractible industries near the border with Mexico would have sufficient water to produce the copper, molybdenum, natural gas, and other commodities. Mrs. Bruce Babbitt is in charge of global water resources at the World Resource Institute. Maybe she could help California. Why not run a water pipeline from Lake Michigan where there is too much water, or is it simply more effective politically to make it appear as if the world does not have enough water.


  6. Reblogged this on Laura Bruno's Blog and commented:
    Where to start with this one?

    In case anyone needed anymore reasons to start (or expand) efforts to grow more of your own food, the situation in California’s Central Valley will hopefully urge people to set up gardens and encourage neighbors and cities to do the same, all over the US — and the world, which also imports much of CA’s produce.

    The situation with Nestle is already serious, and pushing through the TPP will only make such theft of water — and prime farmland through this engineered drought — that much easier. Anyone who can’t fathom how CA might look in coming years if this corporate takeover continues ought to read Starhawk’s eerily prophetic novel, “The Fifth Sacred Thing.” It’s happening, and if we do not start protecting the Sacred Water, we will not have life. This call most obviously goes out to Californians, but Nestle is doing nefarious things in lots of places, including Maine. The Great Lakes are also for sale, thanks to a 2013 deal struck with China by Obama.

    Solutions exist, but they require awareness and courage. They also require action. Even agriculture need not require so much wasted water. Deep mulch, organic soil amendments, drought resistant heirloom varieties, and companion planting take planning, but can work in harmony with the land. Sacred ritual to honor the water, rain dances … these things actually do work, because they put us back in harmony with Nature. We need multi-tiered shifts on all levels, from reclaiming rights stolen by corporate “persons” to reclaiming our own, sacred place in Nature. As the Hopi say, “This could be a good time.” Yes, it could, but it won’t unless we embrace the necessary changes *now.*


    • Nestles has also been very busy drilling deeper wells in famine and drought torn countries of Africa. They were applauded for their efforts but then unbelievably the company bottled the water – starting a brand called “New Life” and requiring the water be bought by the people whose land was drilled through. Read the label on every bottle of water you consder to purchase. T Boone Pickens bought TX land above the aquifer that is beng lowered by watering on the Great Plains and is himself pumping water for bottled water markets. This alll occurred while we were busy idolozing sports and acting figures. Buying brand name clothing and outdoing the neighbor.

      Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, they are criminals right up there with Monsanto and the BigPharmafia. Africa is one of the testing grounds for programs everywhere. India’s another one.


      • I just passed another water tanker truck, double being pulled by a Valley Farm Transport tractor up 50 heading into the Sierra. He is empty, his trailers bouncing. It isn’t just the company, it is the vendors who latch on and support themselves by helpig these corporaions to steal from the world what is our RIGHT and need. This bottled water industry is why the pollution is moving ahead full steam. Forcing us to drink bad water or buy the last of the clean water. I suppose our beautiful open country has attracted the ugliness of people who see the crowded and filthy cities in other lands and say, why not.
        Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T


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