March 12, 2018
Today, Nestlé Waters North America Inc. submitted our second response, as requested by the California State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) in its December 21, 2017 Report of Investigation (ROI). We are continuing to provide information and data to the SWRCB so that, as requested, and as interested parties submit their positions on various topics, we are able to provide relevant information to the Board.
On February 9, 2018, we submitted a detailed and documented report to the SWRCB that shows that we have rights to collect at least 271 acre-feet per year (AFY) of surface water and groundwater in Strawberry Canyon. This amount exceeds our 2015 water use by 161 acre-feet (AF) and our 2016 water use by 172AF. We are prepared to work with the SWRCB to establish a protocol to manage flows to ensure that NWNA’s collections do not exceed 271AFY.
We have not yet heard back from the SWRCB about the information contained in our February 9th report. Until that happens, we are continuing to operate within our established water rights, and we will continue to manage our water withdrawals sustainably as we have done for more than 120 years.
In the meantime, some interested parties have raised concerns about the potential impact of our operations on the flora and fauna in Strawberry Canyon. We have been actively working with the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) since February 2015 to study the Strawberry Canyon environment, and we have shared with the SWRCB details about the voluntary Adaptive Management Plan (AMP) that we submitted to the USFS on December 20, 2017 as part of our Special Use Permit renewal process.
We also understand that some questions have been raised about where in Strawberry Canyon we collect the water and how we measure the flow. We collect spring water from ten horizontal boreholes and two engineered tunnels that we maintain. Last year, we installed improved electronic meters to help monitor the flows at each of our spring sites.
We will continue to submit data about our operations monthly to the USFS, as we have done for years. We will also continue to proactively provide the SWRCB with information about NWNA’s study of stream flows, and riparian habitat associated with those flows, in Strawberry Canyon. We take pride in being good stewards of the environment and have sustainably used the water at Strawberry Canyon for over a century.