Know the Facts about Nestlé Waters in California
Nestlé Waters is draining California's water.
Water is a renewable resource – if it is managed responsibly.
Arrowhead® Brand Mountain Spring Water has been sustainably sourced and bottled from the springs in Strawberry Canyon, in what is now the San Bernardino National Forest, for more than 122 years. Our team of engineers, hydrologists, biologists and geologists consistently monitors and cares for the springs and local environment.
We never collect more water than is naturally available, which means, if the environment yields less, we collect less. We diversify our collection among the springs we source from to avoid overreliance on any one spring, and to support long-term sustainability and healthy habitats.
We’re always working to improve the efficiency of our operations, not just in times of drought.
That is why we implement technologies in our factories to recycle water for cooling and cleaning, as well as undertaking other water efficiency initiatives. Combined, these projects saved more than 54 million gallons of water between 2016 and 2017 across our five California factories.
Nestlé Waters is working alongside other companies and NGOs to protect California's water future.
This includes being part of the California Water Action Collaborative (CWAC), a coalition that brings environmentally-focused NGOs together, such as The Nature Conservancy and The Pacific Institute, with other industry leaders to develop and support innovative conservation and restoration projects around the state.
In addition, we support, through contributions and employee volunteer hours, local organizations such as Inland Empire Waterkeeper, The Nature Conservancy, Cucamonga Valley Water District, American River Parkway Foundation, the Southern California Mountains Foundation, and many more.
Our California factories were the first in North America to receive third-party water stewardship certification.
Last year, Nestlé Waters' Ontario facility became the first in North America to be certified according to the rigorous Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) Standard. Today, all five of our California bottled water factories have been AWS-certified, with our Cabazon factory becoming the first Gold-certified facility in North America.
Created by prominent environmental groups such as The Nature Conservancy and World Wildlife Fund, the AWS Standard is the first comprehensive global benchmark measuring responsible water stewardship across social, environmental, and economic criteria.
We work in local communities to protect and restore sources of drinking water.
We have partnered with the Cucamonga Valley Water District in San Bernardino County to support a groundwater treatment project that is expected to restore approximately 250 million gallons of additional clean drinking water each year to the local water supply. That is significantly more than the approximately 32 million gallons of water that we collected from Arrowhead Springs in 2016.
Nestlé Waters is operating illegally at Arrowhead Springs on an expired permit.
On June 27, 2018, the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) renewed Nestlé Waters’ existing special use permit.
This permit is for the right-of-way for the four-inch in diameter, stainless steel pipeline we use to transport water from the springs in San Bernardino National Forest. More information about our permit can be found here: https://www.nestle-watersna.com/en/nestle-water-news/statements/us-forest-service-arrowhead-permit-statement.
Nestlé Waters has been ordered to stop withdrawing water from Arrowhead Springs.
The State Water Resources Control Board reaffirmed that we have rights to both groundwater and surface water at Arrowhead Springs.
In its draft report, the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) staff acknowledged that Nestlé Waters has valid surface water rights and long-standing groundwater rights totaling 49.5 million gallons of water per year. We have submitted four reports to the SWRCB that directly establish that Nestlé Waters has not made any unauthorized water withdrawals. Additionally, our initial, second, third and fourth response include supporting scientific, historic and legal materials that supports additional water rights.
Nestlé Waters does not pay its fair share for water.
Nestlé Waters pays to care for and access water at Arrowhead Springs.
Nestlé Waters owns the water rights associated with Arrowhead Springs, thus like all other water right holders in the state, we are not required to pay for the water we collect. However, we do pay the U.S. Forest Service an annual fee for right-of-way access to Arrowhead Springs based on the agency’s general fee schedule. The permit is for access across public land, not water withdrawal.
Across the U.S., we spend millions of dollars each year caring for and monitoring our spring sources, and maintaining more than 21,000 acres of watershed land as open space, which helps to safeguard local ecosystems.
Nestlé Waters holds senior water rights in California.
Like thousands of other companies, farms, and individuals, Nestlé Waters holds water rights to a small number of water sources in California, including Arrowhead Springs. Our company and its predecessors have held senior water rights to use the water from Arrowhead Springs since the late 1800s — before the San Bernardino National Forest was created. Since statehood, Californians have acquired water rights in accordance with the state’s statutes just like other property rights.
Bottled water is unnecessary.
Bottled water is essential in times of natural disaster or other emergencies.
We frequently supply drinking water to local municipalities and first responders when tap water may be unavailable. When disaster strikes, Nestlé Waters donates thousands of cases of bottled water to local communities to help provide safe drinking water. In California, from July 2017 through May 2020 we donated more than 5.5 million bottles of water to communities in need. This includes work we’ve done in collaboration with the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (CalOES) to provide drinking water in times of crisis throughout the state.
Americans’ growing preference for bottled water has cut billions of calories out of the American diet.
Bottled water cannot, and will not, replace tap water – and we never expect it to. Bottled water does, however, play an important role in helping Americans stay hydrated at a time when more and more beverages are consumed away from home. Americans have a growing preference for water – mineral, sparkling, flavored and still. In 2017, the sales of individual-sized bottled water surpassed sales of carbonated soft drinks for the first time ever and we expect this trend to continue.
That’s great news for the health of our country as billions of calories are being taken out of the American diet.
Nestlé Waters is encouraging a wasteful, throw-away culture by producing plastic bottles.
Bottled water containers make up less than 1% of municipal waste.
But we all need to do more to make sure ALL plastic containers are recycled – from detergent containers to peanut butter jars to beverage bottles.
Our plastic bottles are 100% recyclable – and we’re making them even better.
PET plastic, which we use to make most of our bottles here at Nestlé Waters, was never meant to be thrown away. It was designed to be captured, recycled, and reused again and again.
To help ensure this plastic is getting reused, we're working hard to increase the use of recycled PET, or rPET, in our packaging. In fact, Nestlé Waters North America is on track to nearly quadruple its use of recycled plastic, or rPET, across our use domestic portfolio in less than 3 years. By 2021, we will reach 25% recycled plastic across our U.S. domestic portfolio, and we plan to reach 50% rPET across that same portfolio by 2025.
We support legislation that aims to achieve a waste-free future.
Laws and regulations play an important role in achieving a circular economy and we support public policy solutions that increase the collection, processing, and re-use of all beverage containers. This includes supporting funding for necessary investments in deposit and curbside collection programs, as well as investments to improve the quality of recycled material processed through these programs.
We strongly support the increased use of recycled content and have demonstrated unparalleled industry leadership in its use. We also advocate for policies that stimulate infrastructure investment and long-term supply contracting to enhance and bring supply and price stability to recycled content markets. We recently supported the passage of California Assembly Bill 792, which will require beverage manufacturers to use 10% recycled plastic in their containers sold in California starting on January 1, 2021 and will increase that requirement over time to 50% by January 1, 2030.
We’re proud to lead the industry in rPET use here in California. As demonstrated in our recent AB 2530 Plastic Beverage Container Virgin and Post-Consumer Resin Report, rPET constitutes 37% of the total volume of PET in the bottles sold last year in the state. In fact, all of our individual-sized Arrowhead® Brand Mountain Spring Water and Nestlé® Pure Life® Purified Water produced in California are made with 50% recycled plastic.