Calls are continuing requesting that Michigan Governor Rick Snyder take over operations at Nestle’s Michigan Water Bottling Plant in Mecosta County Michigan to bring clean, lead-free drinking water to Flint. Currently, neither the State of Michigan nor the Federal government has begun operations on the water system to bring Flint residents to clean water despite being a declared State of Emergency.
Nestlé came to Michigan with plans to pump 720,000 gallons per day of spring water from a private hunting preserve, pipe it to its plant, bottle it, and ship it out of the Great Lakes Basin. Nestle does not pay a dime to the citizens of the State of Michigan for this natural resource nor offer any attempt to restore lost water to the Great Lakes. Nestlé’s pumping has lowered streams, two lakes, and adjacent wetlands. Nestlé continues to pump at high rates during periods of lower rainfall and recharge.
As the crisis in Flint worsens, Matt Zandstra, a father from Wyoming, Michigan resident is partnering with SumOfUs, a global consumer group, to call out Governor Snyder for his close ties to Nestlé. Nestle currently takes water from Michigan’s aquifers at 218 gallons per minute. The petition draws attention to the fact that Flint’s mostly poor and black residents do not have access to safe drinking water, while at the same time Nestlé is the largest owner of private water sources in the state.