Foreign Companies Are Stealing Great Lakes Water
Whiskey is for drinking; water is for fighting.
– Mark Twain
Public Objects to Nestle
The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, DEQ, heard from Michigan residents in a big way. The public opposition to a new proposal from Nestle to double the amount of pure fresh water pumped from Michigan’s sole major aquifer was 80,945 against to 75 in favor. Clearly residents object to the stealing of Great Lakes Water.
Nestlé is able to pump millions of gallons of groundwater for nothing more than a $200 per year DEQ permit. There are approximately 3,000 high capacity wells registered with the state. They withdraw at least 100,000 gallons of water a day. Most are farmers who irrigate their fields.
Foreign Companies Profit on Our Water Resource
Nestle, a company based in Switzerland, can already suck and export up to 250 gallons a minute from a well in Evart, Michigan. Now it wants a new permit that would allow the company to pump 400 gallons of water each minute of the day, 365 days a year.
The Michigan DEQ got an unprecedented number of public comments on Nestle’s pompous request, that started over two years ago.
But it’s not over. It turns out that the Michigan DEQ is powerless to stop the foreign company proceeding with their plan despite overwhelming opposition.
“We can’t, we don’t have the power to say no arbitrarily. We can’t just say no for reasons that aren’t attached to the law.” said Matt Gamble, the Department of Environmental Quality supervisor who’s coordinating the response effort.
Looks like legislative bodies will have to step up and lead. We are not hopeful that the current Republican leadership in Lansing will prevent the stealing of Great Lakes water by foreign companies.
Is it Stealing?
Some question the use of the word “stealing” with Nestle’s pumping of millions of gallons of fresh water for their own profit. We refer to the reference definition of stealing as defined by Webster as, “to appropriate to oneself or beyond one’s proper share”. It’s clear that Nestle is taking advantage of Michigan’s $200 permit intended to offer farmers the ability to pump groundwater for irrigation not for selling.
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