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E-M:/ Nestle sues state over Evart restrictions



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Enviro-Mich message from "Dave Dempsey" <davedem@hotmail.com>
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A bottled-water company sued the state Friday to challenge recent restrictions placed on permits allowing it to buy water for its Ice Mountain Spring Water plant in Mecosta County.

http://www.freep.com/news/statewire/sw117312_20050617.htm

Note this in the article:

Michael Haines, an attorney for Greenwich, Conn.-based Nestle Waters, said the company had no choice but to file suit. "Nestle Waters is only asserting the same rights that every other water user in Michigan enjoys," he said.

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This is simply not true. Nestle's original Mecosta County project and the proposed Evart deal are in a different league from almost any other water use in the state. They are large-scale direct groundwater withdrawals for a private purpose, private ownership, bottling, and private profit. Nestle sells water, not potatoes and not baby food. In fact, in an attempt to win consumer favor, they sell it as "spring water" -- implying it is water in close to a natural state. Michigan has never sanctioned private ownership (as opposed to reasonable use) of water.

Sooner or later Michigan's existing major water users, including irrigators and manufacturers, will have to realize their interests are at odds with those of Nestle. Permitting a private party to claim ownership of water and put a steep price on it is the first step toward losing control of the public's ownership of the water, and risking the right of irrigators, manufacturers and others to make a reasonable use of water within the watershed or utility district where they operate or live while Nestle ships that water worldwide.



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