Nestle backs out of Wacissa River water-pumping deal
Nestle Waters North America has backed out of a deal that would have required pumping water out of the Wacissa River for use in the company’s Madison County water bottling plant.
Nestle was heavily opposed by environmental groups, who argued the company would do serious damage to the Wacissa if the water withdrawal plan moved forward. Across the state of Florida, water withdrawals and industry effluent are taking a toll on lakes, streams and rivers.
“Nestle is a large corporation that is in this for the money,” reads a post on Earth First! Newswire. “They do not care about the better good of our community. It is understood that they have pretty much depleted the spring they are pumping from in Madison and if they can not fulfill their quota of 1.6M gallons a day they will have to close the Madison Plant.”
Nestle ordered a scientific review of the plan and spent the past year studying the spring.
As reported yesterday by the St. Petersburg Times, Nestle Natural Resource Manager for Florida Kent Koptiuch determined that the waterbody’s flows do not meet the company’s “strict selection criteria for a stable, sustainable water supply.”
Associated Industries of Florida had been lobbying on behalf of Nestle. In a statement to the Times, Associated Industries Vice President Jose Gonzalez said that Nestle was ”a responsible steward of Florida’s natural resources and a committed community partner.”
Associated Industries is involved in many environmental disputes in Florida, most notably a set of controversial water pollution standards mandated by the EPA, known as “numeric nutrient criteria.”