Interesting Nestlé debate raging in Florida


In the New York Times (and various other outlets) this week is the story of Nestlé hoping to ramp up its take of water from Ginnie Springs in Northern Florida.

Last week, the scientific staff for the water authority considering the renewal recommended that the water permit be denied, saying, among other things, that bottling the water had not been shown to be “consistent with the public interest.”

…and…

The authority, which has received more than 18,000 comments on the permit renewal and has outright denied a permit renewal only once in its 47 years of existence, is scheduled to officially consider it on Tuesday.

What’s interesting is the apparent lack of impact assessment of the proposed permit on aquifer levels. There’s a lot of conjecture about what might happen (e.g., comparing to a dried out aquifer elsewhere in the region), but no actual study to back it up. Also, apparently 70% of groundwater extraction in the district is for agriculture, with bottled water accounting for less than 1 percent.

Also very interesting:

Nestlé approaches water differently from its corporate peers. Coca-Cola and PepsiCo are mostly bottling tap water from municipal sources. Nestlé has stuck largely to natural spring water, arguing that consumers appreciate the taste that comes from the mineral content of each unique spring area.

Link to NYT article here.