Nestle Waters North America Inc. is gearing up for a major expansion of its Michigan water bottling business with a plan that targets some of the area's most treasured river systems.
Nestle is seeking state permission to pump 70 million gallons of spring water annually from the headwaters of two trout streams that flow into the Muskegon River near Evart in Osceola County. If approved, that project would reduce the annual flow of the Muskegon River by 70 million gallons, according to company documents.
Nestle also is considering seeking permission to pump millions of gallons of spring water each month from a site in Newaygo County's Monroe Township that is the headwaters of the White and Pere Marquette rivers.
Anglers, environmentalists and property owners in the White and Pere Marquette watersheds are up in arms over Nestle's bid to pump groundwater from natural springs that feed those rivers.