Is Nestlé contributing to the problem of water scarcity in California?

Nestlé Waters site in California, USA
CABAZON FACILITY: Nestlé Waters bottling plant in California, in the United States.

Is Nestlé contributing to the problem of water scarcity in California?

No. Nestlé Waters' longstanding water management practices include careful monitoring of its spring sources, in-line with the group-wide Nestlé Commitment on Water Stewardship (pdf, 1Mb).

Nestlé Waters sources water for its Arrowhead Mountain Spring brand from a variety of natural spring water sources in California, including Cabazon, in Riverside County. It manages the water it withdraws from these in a complementary way to ensure the long-term sustainability of the quality and flow of each spring.

In Cabazon, Nestlé Waters has monitored and managed the use of the water source over the past 12 years to maintain spring flow at the surface and to prevent any negative impacts to the aquifer from which the spring water flows.

Nestlé Waters continuously monitors groundwater levels at this site, which allows it to identify any potential risks and to take prompt mitigation action to avoid negatively impacting the local aquifer system. Its monitoring shows no current adverse impact on the springs which supply this Nestlé Waters site or surrounding groundwater levels.

Putting Nestlé Waters’ use of water into perspective - the Cabazon bottling facility, at its maximum production capacity, would represent a fraction of 1% (0.2%) of the total demand for water in the neighbouring Coachella Valley.

Is Nestlé hiding how much water it withdraws at the Cabazon spring in California?

No. Nestlé Waters North America reports its water use in several ways.

California state law requires groundwater users within four counties in southern California to report annual groundwater use. Nestlé Waters complies with this law by reporting its water use to the state for the sources it owns in those counties.

The water Nestlé Waters bottles at the spring in Cabazon, belongs to the Morongo Band of Mission Indians. The tribe, which is recognised as a sovereign nation, sells this water to Nestlé Waters and is the governing body for the company’s water use.

The tribe requires Nestlé Waters to report monthly on its water use. Nestlé Waters has entered into a non-disclosure agreement with the tribe, which limits the company’s ability to report publicly on its operations.

Nestlé Waters also meets regularly with tribal water officials and an independent third-party representative from a Southern California regional water agency to review its water extraction and bottling activities in the area and discuss local water conditions.

Is Nestlé Waters complying with state restrictions on water use during drought?

On 15 July, 2014, the California State Water Resources Board announced that it would escalate statewide water use restrictions.

Nestlé Waters is committed to conducting its operations in an environmentally responsible manner, and will comply with all applicable mandatory reduction orders imposed on industry in California.

The company supports water conservation efforts that are fair and apply to all water users, which promote sustainability, and that can be practically applied.

What is Nestlé Waters doing to conserve water across North America?

Nestlé Waters has been managing springs in North America for more than 30 years and has a rigorous water management and monitoring programme at all of its sites.

In California, the company’s recent water efficiency efforts resulted in a reduction of almost one fifth of the water used in the production of its products from 2010-2013.

Across the country, Nestlé Waters manages almost 14,000 acres of open space as natural watershed land, surrounding more than 40 spring water sites. It carefully monitors and manages these sites for water quality, water usage, and other environmental considerations to maintain the long-term sustainability of each spring.

Read more Read our Commitment on Water Stewardship (pdf, 1Mb)

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