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Poland Spring Investments in Science a Focus at Conference Beginning in Portland on World Water Day - March 20, 2009

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New Kingfield Bottling Plant will be a case study Sunday morning

Portland, ME – Sunday, March 22, is World Water Day. Marking the occasion will be the Geologic Society of America, Northeastern section three-day conference beginning with a 3-hour review of sustainable use through monitoring and regulation of Maine's groundwater. The conference will be held at Holiday Inn By the Bay, starting Sunday at 8:00 am.

“On World Water Day, it’s important to remember that Maine’s water resources have supported jobs in agriculture, recreation, industry and energy, in addition to bottled water,” said Mark Dubois, Poland Spring Natural Resource Manager. “The abundant water resources in Maine have enabled Poland Spring to make significant financial investments in Maine while being a very small user of water,” he added.

According to the Maine Geologic Survey, Maine receives approximately 24 trillion gallons of precipitation a year. That rain and snowfall has yielded a $492 million investment by Poland Spring since 1992. Most recently, the company invested $60 million in a new bottling facility in Kingfield, Maine, $19 million of which was spent with local contractors. Those jobs were made possible because of a prolific aquifer over 36,000 acres on which Bradbury Spring is located.

The multi-year evaluation of the spring water resources that support the new Kingfield bottling plant will be the subject of multiple technical and legal presentations on Sunday. The Kingfield case study illustrates the extensive scientific research necessary to permit spring water withdrawal. Monitoring of environmental conditions at that site becomes an ongoing way to manage the resource in a sustainable and healthy manner. Bradbury Spring is one of three springs in Franklin County that support 40 new jobs at the bottling plant.

"Maine's abundant water resources support not only our environment, but our economy. Poland Spring adds value to a rapidly renewable resource. Their extensive monitoring data helps the state and local communities better understand and manage aquifers. Their use of water is tiny compared to other users in the state, but their contributions to scientific understanding are significant," added Walter Anderson, Maine State Geologist Emeritus.

“We know water is a hot topic these days, so we welcome the attention to good science at this national geology conference,” said Dubois.

Poland Spring has been bottling water in Maine since 1845 and currently employs about 800 people across the state. The company has invested millions of dollars studying and reporting on the aquifers that support their spring sites.

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