Defending Water for Maine organizer Chris Buchanan writes:
There will be a public hearing in Fryeburg, Maine on Thursday, March 7, 6pm on Nestlé's proposed long term contract with the Fryeburg Water Company, a public utility. The hearing will take place at the Fryeburg Legion Hall on Bradley Street across from the Fryeburg Academy gym next to the baseball field.
Everyone who is concerned about the future of our water resources should be present for this public hearing. If this unprecedented large-scale long-term contract goes through between Nestlé Waters North America (Poland Spring) and the Fryeburg Water Company with the blessing of the Public Utility Commission, it will be a precedent setting standard for corporate water extraction from a public water supply in the United States.
Do you want the Fryeburg Water Company locked into a 45 year contract with Nestlé, the largest food and beverage corporation in the world with such a tarnished track record? The cementing of this contract will effect our region in how our water resources will be allocated for our next generation. We face too many environmental instabilities and other variables on the horizon to responsibly agree to this.
We need you all there! Our future water security depends on you.
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Ten things you should know about Nestle / Poland Spring
1. Bottled water is one of the company's key strategic money makers: Nestlé has an annual turnover of about 114 billion – of which almost 10% is derived from the bottled water business.
2. Nestlé has achieved world dominance in the bottled water business by taking over other leading brands as Perrier.
3. Nestlé is constantly buying up additional valuable groundwater resources in order to satisfy the massive demand it has created for bottled water.
4. Nestlé is taking advantage of the often out-of-date water rights in many locations by operating to the limits of legality, not just in developing countries but also in the USA and elsewhere in the industrialized world.
5. Nestlé spares no effort in exerting financial, legal and political pressure on anyone campaigning for water ownership as a public property and human right.
6. Nestlé is using up precious natural water resources to create and commercialize "new" water.
7. Nestlé promotes bottled water with extensive global marketing and advertising campaigns, undermining awareness for the necessity of a functioning public water supply system.
8. Nestlé promotes itself as a benefactor by donation and PR campaigns at local level. But at the same time it manipulates public opinion into believing that improvements in production and distribution are having a sustainable effect.
9. Nestlé creates dependence on bottled water, in particular where public waters supplies are close to collapse, and notably in developing countries.
10. Nestlé's bottled water business is not simply a business like any other. It is a business with the sole natural resource essential for man's survival.