Nestlé Waters North America Statement March 22, 2008 - World Water Day

To Press Releases listMar 22, 2008

Nestlé Waters North America believes people have a right to a safe, reliable supply of water.  We are the steward of more than a century-old legacy of managing and sustaining spring sources across the continent, and of making that water available to millions of people.  We support the efforts of World Water Day to highlight awareness about water-related challenges and the importance of water protection and conservation.

What We Do
An estimated 70% of all water use in the world today goes for agriculture, and so supporting farmers to use water efficiently is a critical part of protecting it for the future. Through its “Sustainable Agriculture Initiative,” our parent company, Nestlé SA, works with approximately 400,000 farmers around the world to help them learn those methods.

Our company also supports organizations such as the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies to bring clean drinking water to those in need. In 2006, Nestlé committed $1.5 million Swiss francs over three years to support the Red Cross’ Global Water and Sanitation Initiative to bring safe water supply, community training and hygiene promotion to villages in sub-Saharan Africa. As part of this effort, Nestlé helped rural communities in Mozambique establish safe water supplies that reached more than 15,000 people. Similar efforts are underway in Ivory Coast in partnership with Interfaith Action for Peace in Africa, and soon in Rwanda in partnership with the World Lutheran Federation. In India, Nestlé has drilled wells and installed facilities that are providing safe drinking water to 25,000 school children at 71 locations. And more than 3,000 students have been reached through Nestlé’s drinking water project in Sri Lanka.

Bottled and Tap Side By-Side
In the U.S. we are fortunate to have a clean, reliable supply of tap water, as well as a variety of bottled waters to choose from.  For our bottled water products, we sometimes purchase from public water supplies, but most often, we buy or lease private property, obtain the related water rights, and secure all required permits for spring sources. We advocate for government policies that are fair for all water users and that promote water safety and sustainability. Communities have a process for decision-making and broad public input is always a critical part of that process.  We must abide by local rules, laws and regulations to withdraw water and operate a bottling plant.

Bottled water cannot replace tap water, and for the vast majority of people it is not an either/or choice—they drink both. People often choose bottled water because it is a convenient option while on-the-go. More than half of those who drink bottled water say they would instead turn to caloric sugared beverages like soda if bottled water weren’t an option. Considering rising obesity and diabetes risks, bottled water availability plays a healthful role. In addition, bottled water requires far less water to produce than most other beverages, so every time a consumer chooses it over a drink such as cola or beer, water is saved.

Water Conservation Practices
We agree that safe and reliable public water systems, and the tap water they provide, are part of a critical infrastructure needed by people around the world. Nestlé Waters uses only .001 percent of total fresh water available in the U.S. annually.

We have 11 on-staff geologists who monitor and manage our spring sources for long-term sustainability. Nestlé Waters also manages more than 14,000 acres around its spring source, providing watershed protection, wildlife habitat and open space benefits to local communities. And when we purchase from public sources, we only purchase based on what has been identified as available supply.

We salute the efforts of all of those involved in World Water Day. To learn more, we encourage you to visit our Web site at www.Nestle-WatersNA.com.