A new coalition, the NH Water Table, sponsored a conference called “Protecting New Hampshire’s Water” last month in
The world is running out of fresh water. There are already countries in water crisis, including 22 African countries, and two-thirds of northern
The large groundwater withdrawals for water bottling sales are exacerbating the problem.
Bottled water sales have skyrocketed in the last decade. Bottled water is being marketed as being superior to tap water, even though what’s in that bottle may be tap water sold to consumers as “fresh from a mountain spring” at a thousand times the cost of tap water. The bottled water industry is almost entirely unregulated, unlike municipal water supplies, where the water quality is monitored constantly. The idea is to create a suspicion of publicly owned water suppliers, and encourage the belief that bottled water is better and safer. A generation of kids is growing up with the belief that water is something you buy in a plastic bottle at the store. The bottled water companies are making obscene profits and creating obscene amounts of garbage. Every day over 30 million plastic water bottles are discarded. Only 1 in 10 makes it to recycling, the rest go into the landfill – where the chemicals in the plastic break down and contaminate the groundwater.....and the cycle continues.
The Poland Spring water bottling operation in Fryeburg has been a controversial topic now for some time. Fryeburg recently enacted a temporary ban on issuing permits for large scale groundwater extractions. It’s a smart move – given that most towns haven’t factored water extraction into their planning processes or town ordinances. That 6 month moratorium will give the town a chance to study the subject, and reflect seriously on water and the future. The towns on the NH side of the border should be watching this issue, and planning in their own communities.
Poland Spring is owned by the Nestle Corporation, a company with a long, disgusting record of violating human rights around the world. Nestle earns over $4 billion a year selling baby formula. They aggressively market their bottle feeding formulas as superior to breast milk in third world countries. Often they give out free samples to new mothers in the hospital. The mothers leave the hospital, with their own milk dried up, and are now forced to buy the formula and mix it with water, and in many cases that water supply is contaminated. A recent independent audit of Nestlé’s conduct in
Castle Springs Bottled Water Company was a small, locally owned operation in Moultonborough. Two years ago, it was purchased by Crystal Geyser Roxanne, a
Something else for towns and states to consider is that trade agreements like NAFTA and CAFTA provide foreign countries the opportunity to sue if we create “barriers to trade.” In other words, if a town attempts to pull out of a water deal with a CAFTA country, they can sue for the loss of their profits. Our NH Congressional delegation all voted for CAFTA, by the way. Welcome to the wonderful world of globalization.
Water – we need to act now to protect it. The
“We never know the worth of water till the well is dry.” Thomas Fuller