Know the Facts about Nestlé Waters in Michigan

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Claims About Nestlé Waters in Michigan



Nestle Waters is draining Michigan's water.

Michigan has an abundance of water—it's number 1 in the U.S.
According to a 2015 United States Geological Survey (USGS) study, Michigan ranks as the number one state with the highest percentage of water area, with 41.5% of its total area occupied by water.

Water is a renewable resource.
The water we use is naturally replenished through the water cycle. For example, our data shows that over the past 16 years, there has been an increase in precipitation leading to a corresponding increase in aquifer levels. According to the USGS and academic research, Michigan is a "wet region" – it is predicted to get wetter in the years ahead.

Nestle Waters is a relatively small commercial water user in the state.
According to data compiled by Michigan's Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), Michigan's nearly 40 bottled water companies account for less than .01% of water used in the state. Our water use in Michigan ranks us 85 on the list of the state's top water users.

The water we bottle doesn't travel far.
Approximately 90% of the water we source in Michigan is shipped to customers within the Great Lakes states.



Nestle Waters pays next to nothing to take water from Michigan.

All industrial and commercial water users pay the same price if they own the infrastructure.
Nestle Waters pays the rate set by the local and state authorities at all of our sites. We do not receive a special rate for water use. While it makes for catchy headlines, we are not buying millions of gallons of water for $200. That $200 is an annual fee that goes to the state, similar to a car registration fee. It's just one of the many expenses we pay to operate in Michigan.

No one in Michigan actually pays for water.
What we all pay for is the cost associated with infrastructure, quality and delivery of water.

We make significant investments in local infrastructure – we're talking hundreds of millions of dollars.
Since we began operating in Michigan, we have made capital investments totaling more than $267 million. The company's economic activity generates nearly $5 million each year that support state and local taxes, which fund local schools, fire and police departments, local parks and other essential public services.

We create good quality jobs for Michigan residents and support local businesses.
Our company directly employs approximately 280 people in Michigan and buys $51 million in goods and services from Michigan companies. Nestle Waters' Michigan presence results in a total of 765 jobs created statewide and more than $160 million in economic activity, putting more money in the pockets of Michigan residents and small businesses.



Nestle did not do enough to help the people of Flint in their time of need.

We've been providing water and other support to Flint since the beginning of the crisis.
Starting in October 2015, our Ice Mountain team began shipping water donations to help the residents of Flint. In January 2016, we partnered with a coalitionthat included Walmart and other companies to provide safe, clean drinking water to meet the needs of more than 10,000 public school students in Flint, or the equivalent of up to 6.5 million bottles.

We've never stopped helping the residents of Flint.
We’ve been working closely with the Flint community to understand their current needs, and how we can best help meet those needs. Starting in early May 2018, we began partnering with the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan to provide regular bottled water deliveries to the three Food Bank of Eastern Michigan Help Centers, located at the Greater Holy Temple, Bethel United Methodist Church and Asbury United Methodist Church.

We’ve also recently deployed an Ice Mountain® Mobile Hydration Station to help deliver on-the-go hydration to members of the Flint community and surrounding areas. This trailer full of water visits various local events to enable community members to fill their cups or reusable water bottles free of charge.

From May 2018 to the end of the year, we anticipate we will have donated approximately 3.2 million bottles of water to the City of Flint, and served our communities more than 1,100 gallons of water from our Ice Mountain® Hydration Station.

We're helping those donated water bottles get recycled.
In collaboration with Keep America Beautiful and Keep Genesee County Beautiful, Nestle Waters and our corporate partners established recycling infrastructure and awareness programs to support the Flint school community.

Our operations in Michigan have absolutely NO connection to the crisis in Flint.
Nestle Waters has never withdrawn water from any location in or near Flint. We source water from a completely different watershed, more than 120 miles away.



Nestle Waters is a Swiss company, and not part of the Michigan community.

We are an international company with a significant U.S. presence, and have been operating in Michigan for more than 16 years.
While Nestle Waters North America is owned by Nestle, which is based in Switzerland, we are an international company with a significant presence in the United States. Our headquarters is based in Stamford, Connecticut, and we have more than 8,500 employees across the country, operating in 140 communities. That includes approximately 280 employees in Michigan.

Our employees don't just work with the local community, they ARE the local community.
It is easy to forget, but Nestle Waters North America, like any company, is made up of people. Here in Michigan, we employ approximately 280 people in the state who care about the environment and the well-being of their local communities, just like you do. They are good people who live, work and raise their families in the same communities where we operate, and for that reason, they are just as passionate as you are about protecting their neighbors and the natural resources of the area.

We just celebrated 16 years of sustainable operations, and we're proud of it.
2018 marks our 16th year operating in Michigan, and whether through a strong commitment to water stewardship, volunteering, or community investment, we aim to make a positive impact every day.

We are committed to local causes and organizations and support them regularly.
We support many community organizations here in the state through donations of water, food, supplies and money. Ice Mountain employees volunteer in the communities where they live and work to support meaningful community projects including environmental cleanups along rivers and highways. Nestle Waters has donated more than $500,000 to fund multiple projects to improve the health of the Muskegon River watershed and invested $1.5 million to evaluate and help provide a new city well in Osceola County that is used solely by the community.



Nestle Waters' proposed increase in withdrawal is not sustainable.

Our withdrawals do not have an adverse impact – scientific data confirms this.
For over 16 years, Nestle Waters has worked with independent, professional scientists to conduct regular and ongoing monitoring of groundwater, surface water and the local ecosystem to ensure the long-term sustainability of the shared water resources.

We conduct comprehensive environmental monitoring at our spring sources in Michigan.
We regularly collect data from more than 100 monitoring points in Michigan. We use this data to ensure that our withdrawals are sustainable and preserve a healthy ecosystem where we operate.

Depleting the water resources in Michigan would put us out of business.
Simply put: it would make absolutely NO sense to invest millions of dollars into our local operations just to deplete the natural resources on which our business relies. It would undermine the success of our business and go against every value we hold as people and as a company.



Nestle Waters is suing Osceola Township for not letting them pump their water.

We are absolutely NOT suing Osceola Township.
We simply appealed a 1-1 decision by the Osceola Zoning Board that denied our request for a permit to build a 12-foot by 22-foot building in Osceola Township. An independent Circuit Court ruled that our request met all of the Township's zoning ordinance and ordered the Township to issue the zoning permit. The Township chose to file an appeal of the Circuit Court ruling.

This is a zoning issue and has no bearing on our water withdrawals.
Water withdrawal in the State of Michigan is governed by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ). This building permit is filed with the Township to allow us to build a 12-foot by 22-foot building, designed to house a booster pump. The pump would increase pressure along our pipeline to transport additional water.

Several years ago, the Osceola Township issued a zoning permit to Nestle Waters to construct a similar building in the township under the very same ordinances.

Nestle Waters twice offered to delay or postpone our appeal in an effort to help reduce the local government's legal expenses
We are sensitive to the local government's incurrence of legal fees. That is why we did what we could to help them reduce these costs by offering to delay our appeal until the MDEQ issued their withdrawal permit. Unfortunately, our offers were refused by the Township.

The booster pump building will have minimal impact on Osceola Township.
While we have evaluated several options, this booster station is the most efficient, has the smallest footprint, and would have the added benefit of providing additional tax revenue to the Township.

From the beginning, our goal with this request has been to reduce, as much as possible, any impact to the local community and the environment.



Nestle Waters' goal is to turn water from a public resource into a private one.

We do not compete with municipalities for water. EVER. And we do not privatize public water supplies.
For example, in Michigan communities, like Evart, where we purchase water, we have a clause in our agreement that specifies that, before we can purchase water, the community must have enough water to meet their needs. In addition, we recently invested $1.5 million to evaluate and help provide a new city well in Osceola County that is used solely by the community.

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 70% of beverages are consumed away from home. Americans have a growing preference for water—mineral, still, sparkling, and flavored. Earlier this year, the sales of single-serve bottled water surpassed sales of carbonated soft drinks for the first time ever. That's great news for the health of our country as billions of calories are being taken out of the American diet. As the #1 bottled water brand in the Midwest, it's great news for the communities where we invest.

Bottled water is also 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. In 2017 alone, we donated more than 5 million bottles of water to communities in need.



Nestle does not believe that water is a human right. I saw the video of their CEO being circulated online.

We absolutely, unequivocally believe that water is a human right.
Safe, clean drinking water is essential to human life, and we believe that access to it is a fundamental human right. Everyone should have consistent access to quality water to meet daily hydration, cooking and hygiene needs.

The online video claiming otherwise is over 13 years old and depicts someone who is no longer our CEO.
Critics use a video interview that our former Chairman Peter Brabeck-Letmathe gave in 2005 – over 12 years ago – to claim that he thinks all water sources should be privatized. This is simply false.

The video is edited by critics to be intentionally misleading in order to advance a false narrative about our company.
Mr. Brabeck’s comments were taken out of context and engineered by critics to create an inaccurate soundbite that would scare and anger viewers.

Nestle’s current chairman has affirmed that the company believes water is a human right.
As recently as March 2018, Nestle current Chairman of the Board Paul Bulcke publicly stated: “At Nestle, we unequivocally believe that access to water is a basic human right. Everyone, everywhere in the world, has the right to clean, safe water for drinking and sanitation.”