Mountain Spring Water Co. (Nestlé Waters) bottling
factory manager Brendon O'Rourke |
The Ice Mountain
Spring Water Bottling Factory is pumping hundreds of millions of gallons per
year of Michigan water out of enormous bore hole deep wells taking billions of dollars in corporate
profit from water that belongs to the people of Michigan. We think
this is wrong! We think Michigan water should not become the private
property of a Swiss owned water mining factory. Ice Mountain Spring
Water is a wholly owned division of Nestlé Waters
North America, Inc. which was formerly marketed as
the Perrier Group of America Inc.
Michigan: Pay Now. Pay Later.
Water levels in the Great Lakes are projected to significantly fall—by about a meter in Lakes Michigan-Huron—over the next several decades, placing system connectivity throughout the Great Lakes at risk; by 2030, connectivity could fall by approximately 25%. This would be highly damaging to regional economies; the transport of cargo over the system is responsible for over $3 billion in regional business and personal revenue. 1 Warmer temperatures, lost soil moisture, and drought will likely have a significant effect on the state’s $63.7 billion agriculture industry. The predicted 20-40% increase in precipitation in the region and related effects are likely to further hinder the sector, rather than offset such occurrences. 2 Approximately 1.6 times of the Michigan’s current electricity demand could be generated by renewable energy sources in the state, should these sources be fully exploited. 3 According to a new study, a failure to mitigate the effects of climate change could begin to cause serious gross domestic product and job losses within the next several decades. Between 2010 and 2050, it could cost Michigan $18.3 billion in GDP and nearly 108,000 jobs.
Report: Great Lakes can experience water shortages
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — Despite having more fresh water than anywhere else in the world, the Great Lakes region could experience shortages in some locations because of climate shifts or surging demand, a federal analysis says. The five-year study by the U.S. Geological Survey, obtained by The Associated Press ahead of its scheduled release Monday, describes the Great Lakes as an aquatic treasure trove. The lakes themselves have 6 quadrillion gallons — enough to spread a foot-deep layer across North America, South America and Africa — and the volume of groundwater surpasses that of Lake Huron.
The time to stand up for Michigan's waters is now.
The State Senate just narrowly passed legislation that would allow up to 25% of some of our precious lakes and rivers to be open for withdrawal! Yes, you heard me right, up to 25% of some of our best waterways. If that wasn't bad enough, the Senate allowed provisions that undermine public control over our water. Without strong laws that support public control of the Great Lakes, our state is vulnerable to corporations and special interests that seek to export and misuse our water. The State House can fix this, but they need to hear from you, not just corporate special interests. Take action now - http://michiganwaternotforsale.com Tell your State Representative to reject the Senate proposal (SB 860). Instead they should pass tough new laws that protect our Great Lakes and inland waters for generations to come by strengthening public control. Tell them to reject a special interest driven proposal that would allow up to 25% of some of Michigan's water to be open for withdrawal.
The greatest natural resource in a four-state area, Lake Michigan's safe keeping has increasingly become the center of concern and controversy. Many are asking questions. Is the lake safe for recreation? Is drinking water drawn by numerous communities pure? Is pollution lessening? Who are the polluters? And most of all, what is being done to safeguard the lake?
What if you lived by the largest body of fresh water in the world but could no longer afford to use it?
Residents of Highland Park, Michigan, known as the birthplace of the auto-industry, have received water bills as high as $10,000; they have had their water turned off, their homes foreclosed, and are struggling to keep water, a basic human right, from becoming privatized.
Michigan House Committee Passes Great Lakes Compact
(Lansing)—The Michigan House of Representatives Great Lakes and
Environment Committee today approved legislation ratifying the Great
Lakes Compact, taking a crucial first step toward protecting
Michigan's water resources from abusive withdrawals and diversions.
The multi-state, and a companion multi-nation agreement establishes
basic guidelines to prevent Great Lakes water diversions and ensure
resource sustainability; the Compact requires each state to pass
State Senate Great Lakes ‘protection’ plan would open spigot to drain Michigan’s rivers
A proposed Great Lakes protection package being considered in the State Senate would allow large water users to drain huge percentages of some of Michigan’s finest rivers and streams, according to an analysis by the Great Lakes, Great Michigan coalition. “There’s no way you can take that much water out of a stream and not destroy it. I’m sure there are plenty of people and corporations who’d like to get their hands on the Au Sable’s spring-fed water, but the State Legislature shouldn’t be helping them do it.”
Lakes Water PDF
Limitations on Privatization and Diversions by James M. Olson
"How The Grinch Will Steal Water" : The Great Lakes Annex 'Return Flow' Condition
"The world's largest for-profit water service corporations have set their sights on North America: Suez and Vivendi (now Veolia) from France and RWE-Thames from Germany. All three have major subsidiaries in North America - United Water, U.S. Filter, and American Water. [with subsidiary Canadian Water in many Canadian municipalities]. These corporations specialize in taking over public water services from cash-strapped governments and running them on a for-profit basis. Contracts often cover a 25-to-30 year term...In January 2003, Suez, closely followed by Vivendi (Veolia) and RWE, announced that they were going to target cities in the United States and Canada for their expansion. Their stated goal was to transfer 70 per cent of the water services in both countries from public to private hands over the following ten years."
New hearings possible on use of Great Lakes water
The Canadian government's cool reaction to a U.S.-led plan for curbing Great Lakes diversions and bulk withdrawals could reopen public hearings on the debate this summer. At stake is how the United States and Canada view their relationship with each other in regard to the freshwater lakes as North America is expected to face its greatest water crisis this century. The lakes hold 20 percent of the Earth's fresh surface water.
Dueling water bottlers consider Evart
By the time Ice Mountain decides whether Evart is the best spot for its new plant, another privately owned water bottler could be in operation in the same industrial park. The city expects to hear by early next year if it is the winning site for Nestle Waters North America's second Midwest bottling plant for its Ice Mountain brand. Meanwhile, City Council members also are mulling plans by a local trucker, Duane DeWitt, to start a small-scale competing operation.
BP gets OK to dump mercury into Lake Michigan
A BP (BP) refinery in Indiana will be allowed to continue to dump mercury into Lake Michigan under a permit issued by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management. The permit exempts the BP plant at Whiting, Ind., 3 miles southeast of Chicago, from a 1995 federal regulation limiting mercury discharges into the Great Lakes to 1.3 ounces per year. Studies have shown that mercury, a neurotoxin, is absorbed by fish and can be harmful if eaten in significant quantities, particularly by pregnant women and children. Each of the eight Great Lakes states warns residents to avoid certain kinds of fish or limit consumption.
Changing Lake Superior mystifies scientists
As the research boat bobs up and down on gray, choppy Lake Superior, Michigan Tech University chemist Noel Urban and two students drop a metal cylinder over the side to retrieve a water sample from the bottom. They are measuring carbon dioxide content — an unspectacular statistic by itself, yet an important piece of a highly complex puzzle.
Great Lakes still great, but there's less of them
Monday, May 28, 2007 —Michigan families headed to the state's Great Lakes coasts this weekend will likely find bigger beaches and shallower harbors, as water levels continue to drop from last year's already low levels. The drought affecting the Upper Midwest, including Michigan's Upper Peninsula, Wisconsin and Minnesota, has taken its toll on the lakes, and scientists say low levels are part of a long-term weather cycle that probably won't end soon. [Editor: Nestle's bottled water factory continues to pump and truck water out of the Great Lakes basin. The long term affect will be to permanently lower lake levels, through export.]
Don't pull the plug on the Lakes
Any water diversion from the Great Lakes would imperil boating. With marginal lake levels already, removing water from the lakes would tip the balance and make boat access impossible. The consequences would be ruinous for boaters and for the entire region. The Great Lakes are a trillion-dollar asset, an irreplaceable environmental habitat and an unparalleled recreational resource. But, they have long been threatened by a variety of forces. Ill-advised diversions of water outside our drainage basin would have a ruinous effect on the lakes, on the economy and on boaters, a group that contributes millions of dollars to the region and makes an untold difference in maintaining the lakes' sustainability. It is imperative that we prevent any diversions. Time and time again, efforts to protect the lakes have been undermined by a lack of regional consensus. An interstate agreement is absolutely essential to preventing one bad actor from ruining the lakes for everyone. This month, Ohio took the lead in implementing such a consensus. The General Assembly's coming endorsement of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact is a landmark move toward securing the irreplaceable resources of the Great Lakes and ensuring the viability of our region's most vital travel and recreation destination. While this is a step in the right direction, Ohio's endorsement does nothing by itself.
Legislation needed to protect wetlands
May 23, 2007 —Wetlands deserve the renewed federal protection they would get under a bill introduced Tuesday in the U.S. House. The proposed Clean Water Restoration Act is the equivalent of a legislative foot stomp by Rep. John Dingell, D-Dearborn, who wrote wetlands protection into the Clean Water Act about 35 years ago, only to watch it challenged repeatedly in court. Advertisement Finally, last year, the U.S. Supreme Court sent such a muddled message in a case involving a Michigan wetland that it became clear the law needed bolstering.
How can state control withdrawals?
When local activists took a multinational corporation to court over its Michigan water bottling operation in 2003, witnesses argued for weeks over whether the plant was harming nearby lakes and streams. The judge finally took a canoe ride to help make up his mind. The two sides ultimately struck a bargain over how much Nestle Waters North America could pump from the ground in Mecosta County for its Ice Mountain label. The Michigan Supreme Court is expected to rule this year on who has legal standing to sue in such disputes. But a state panel may help prevent at least some future court battles by devising a scientific method for answering a crucial question about large-scale water withdrawals: How much is too much?
Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation Files Brief for Termination or Modification of Nestlé’s Stay to Continue Pumping at the Sanctuary Springs
In November 2003, Judge Larry Root of the Mecosta County Circuit Court stopped Nestlé from unlawfully pumping and diverting water from Sanctuary Springs, directly connected to the Dead Stream, the headwaters of the West Branch of the Little Muskegon River. Nestlé filed an emergency application in the Court of Appeals on December 15, 2003. The Court of Appeals granted Nestlė a stay order that allowed Nestlė to pump at 250 gallons per minute (gpm) on a monthly average during the appeal. After hearing the evidence, the Trial Court found that a stream, lake, and wetlands were diminished and impaired at 160 to 170 gpm. Since the Court of Appeals granted the stay order, Nestlė has pumped 250 gpm based on the average, but has exceeded this limit for significant periods of time.
Drinking Water Week 2007: May 6-12
A safe, reliable water supply is critical to the success of any community. It creates jobs, attracts industry and investment, and provides for the health and welfare of citizens in ways ranging from disease prevention to fire suppression. We often take water resources for granted unless we are living through a drought or when depleted water supplies threaten a community's future. Water plays a vital role in our daily lives, and this year AWWA is celebrating what Only Tap Water Delivers that no other water can.
In the "One Small Step…" Department: Nestle Abandons Pumping Expansion Plan in Michigan
April 07th, 2007—It’s difficult to know why Nestle abandoned plans to pump millions of gallons of water annually from spring near the headwaters of Michigan’s White River, though the existence of an active local opposition group probably didn’t hurt. Nestle Waters North America has halted its controversial plan to pump spring water from a site near the headwaters of the White River, saying the water was unsuitable for its purposes. Nestle, which bottles water in Michigan under the Ice Mountain label, announced Thursday that it was not moving forward with its investigation of the site in Newaygo County’s Monroe Township because its initial scientific assessments indicate a different mineral composition than spring water currently bottled as Ice Mountain. Yoo-Hoo. Sorta. Score one for the little guys, though Nestle is far from finished. The battle for the heart and soul of McCloud’s water is in a lull as the case makes its way to the California Supreme Court.
Michigan is ground zero in groundwater war
"What they're proposing is a diversion, pumping it out and selling it to Timbuktu and it's not coming back," says Jay Peasley, who lives on the White River. See full image See full image * Printer friendly version * Comment on this story * Send this story to a friend * Get Home Delivery In a quaint, quiet home along the bank of the Muskegon River, Valerie Duer counts wildlife, trout and a giant multinational food and beverage corporation among her nearest neighbors. The critters were the desired part of the deal when Duer and her husband, Paul, moved to Big Prairie Township in rural Newaygo County near Michigan's west coast from Grand Haven seven years ago. But Duer has spent most of those years fighting to oust Nestle Waters North America, a corporation that pumps and sells some 107 million gallons of spring water annually from wells that draw water from the Muskegon River watershed. "I'm worried that they will never stop. They'll just keep plunging holes in the ground," said Duer, 59, who is retired. "There's just no way to stop them. And all they are concerned about is the bottom line, the profits." Despite a 2001 lawsuit from the grassroots Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation against Nestle that lingers at the Michigan Supreme Court, the company has sunk an additional well in Osceola County, further infuriating Michigan citizens who are still waiting for resolution of the first lawsuit..
River lovers take a stand against bottler
Friday, March 30, 2007—A citizens group formed to protect the White River is taking a stand against Nestle Waters North America's bid to pump spring water from a site near the headwaters of the state-protected trout stream. The White River Watershed Partnership recently adopted a resolution expressing its opposition to Nestle or any other company "mining" water from anywhere along the river system. According to the resolution, a large scale water withdrawal from the watershed could endanger the river's trout and other fish species, lower water levels in White Lake, disrupt recreational activities and undermine efforts to protect the river. The White, the southern-most trout stream in Michigan, is one of 16 designated natural rivers in Michigan. "If our goal is to help protect the river and the resource, and you look at our group's mission statement, we just felt like we had to do this," said Tom Thompson, chairman of the White River Watershed Partnership.
Long range plan must protect Great Lakes water supply
An important water-related event this past week drove home the urgency that we can't take our most precious natural resource – water – for granted. The 65-mile water pipeline that will serve six communities in Brown County is nearly ready to begin delivering clean drinking water to 71,000 residents. The process of cleaning and disinfecting the pipeline will take about three or four weeks according to Manitowoc Public Utilities officials. The fully operational filtration plant will be capable of supplying up to 20 million gallons of clean water to the six communities each day. The communities needed a new source of drinking water because their municipal wells were contaminated. Our drinking water, along with what we are processing for the communities in Brown County, is drawn from the largest single freshwater source in the world – the Great Lakes system.
Water war stories are 'a dime a dozen'
A very special mood is created along many of the region's shorelines during those warm nights when the water is gently lapping against the shore and a loon calls out its goodbye to the day in that endearing, haunting way that loons have. Haunting is a word often used to describe the cry of a loon but it carries even more weight now as changes happening on our planet put animal and plant species in danger, threatening all, including our beloved loons and our coveted waters. "Sooner or later, my contention is, one or more problems are going to emerge as truly severe and there will be all kinds of consequences because of it and we won't have been prepared, we won't have anticipated or done anything to prepare ourselves for it." The danger posed to the Great Lakes is shared by fresh water supplies all over the world. In fact, there are those who believe future world wars will be fought over water. Some are saying that is already happening.
As first conceived, the documentary The Water Front was supposed to look at the issue of privatizing municipal water systems. But it ended up being about much more than that. The subject drew the attention of Montreal filmmaker Liz Miller because, as she says, access to clean and affordable water is expected to become a major issue over the next 20 to 30 years. After considering locations in Africa, Latin America and other parts of the United States, she settled on Michigan's Highland Park as the focus of her film. The fact that people living amid the world's largest supply of fresh water were having their flow shut off intrigued her. But after she started filming more than four years ago, the narrative began to grow in scope and complexity. "I went in there thinking I was going to be telling a story about water," she says. "But then it became a bit of a spider web." It morphed into a story about a "postindustrial city in crisis," with issues of race and class and poverty weaving their way into an increasingly tangled storyline.
A World Without Water’
“I can’t stay here without water. I’ve got children in the house. So I went to the hardware store, and got a key, and learned how to turn my water on. What else could I do?” The speaker is a Detroit grandmother featured in a documentary that premiered on British TV April 29, along with three other families from Bolivia, Tanzania and India who are without life’s most basic necessity. The film, called A World Without Water, was produced by Brian Woods of True Vision TV. It investigates the future of the world’s water supply, painting a disturbing picture of water’s increasing commodification and the battle for its ownership. “Should water be a human right or a tradable commodity?” asks the film. “All of us will be affected soon. Some of us are suffering now.”
Who should be able to tap Great Lakes?
July 16, 2006 —Conservationists cheered this month after Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm announced that she would use her veto power to kill New Berlin's request to pipe Lake Michigan water outside the Great Lakes basin. Advertisement 72242Water Debate Recent Coverage 6/30/06: Michigan shuts tap to lake 6/29/06: Vrakas: We sink or swim together 6/20/06: Cities say they won't meet water deadline 6/15/06: Planned wells fuel water concerns 6/4/06: Clamping down on water use 3/25/06: Vrakas to outline water plan for county 4/14/06: Negotiations set on well issue Basin Border Click to enlarge Graphic/Alfred Elicierto Click to enlarge Archived Coverage Troubled Waters: Special reports on Great Lakes' issues The big fear is that saying yes at this point to the Milwaukee suburb will set a precedent that will make it legally difficult for Great Lakes governors to say no to the hundreds - if not thousands - of communities outside the Great Lakes basin that will be looking for a fresh source of drinking water in coming decades. But that precedent was set more than 40 years ago.
New Law Intensifies Water Diversion Debate
A new Michigan law forbids Great Lakes water diversions, but allows companies to export bottled water. Nestle Waters N.A. says it intends to sell 300 million gallons of Michigan water annually. The dispute over whether to manage withdrawals, which helped to drive adoption of the new laws, began in earnest five years ago when Nestle Waters N.A., the world’s leading water bottler, came to rural Mecosta County. Michigan’s permitting of Nestle’s operation, and the subsidies the state provided for the company to set up shop, sparked fierce protests. Opponents said the state’s action — and a near-total lack of water withdrawal regulations — cast doubt on Michigan’s ability to properly steward its share of the largest freshwater resource on the planet.
Granholm Signs Landmark Legislation to Protect Great Lakes
Granholm Signs Legislation to Protect Great Lakes February 28, 2006 LANSING – Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today signed legislation that for the first time protects Michigan waters from large-scale diversions and withdrawals. The landmark legislation fulfills a commitment Michigan made more than 20 years ago to join with other states and Canada to protect and preserve the waters of the Great Lakes Basin. “Michigan has been blessed by a bounty of water that fuels our economy and defines our character,” Granholm said. “It is our most vital resource, and its preservation and protection is far too important to be left to future generations.”
Michigan Legislature approves oversight of water withdrawals
February 2006 U.S. Water News Online LANSING, Mich. -- The Michigan Legislature voted to give the state oversight of manufacturers, utilities and water bottling plants that use large amounts of water. A key provision, which the House approved 100-4 and the Senate passed 37-0, would designate water shipped outside the Great Lakes Basin in containers smaller than 5.7 gallons as a product -- not a diversion. But state permits would be required for any new or expanded water bottling plants withdrawing more than 250,000 gallons a day. Michigan is the only state in the Great Lakes region that has not enacted laws to regulate large withdrawals.
Towns prepare for water crunch
With Lake County's booming growth expected to eventually strain its limited water supply--even with Lake Michigan nearby--a handful of communities are banding together to ensure that they won't one day be left high and dry.
Company drops bottled water lawsuits against Michigan
A water bottler Monday withdrew lawsuits against the state of Michigan over regulations that limited the company's ability to sell its product outside the Great Lakes drainage basin. Nestle Waters North America Inc. filed state and federal suits last year after the Department of Environmental Quality issued a permit for Nestle to buy water from the city of Evart for bottling at its Ice Mountain Spring Water plant in Mecosta County. The permit said the Evart water couldn't be sold outside the Great Lakes basin. Some environmentalist groups pledge a fight to overturn the bottled water provision, saying it sets a precedent for classifying water as an economic commodity instead of a public resource. [EDITOR: Don't be misled. Nestle is satisfied with the loophole in this regulation that will allow large scale diversion through the use of smaller containers.]
Michigan Riparian Rights - Navigable Waters
The government has the obligation to protect and preserve navigable waters, including the Great Lakes, their submerged lands, and their shores. The state acts as trustee of the public rights in the lakes for fishing, hunting and boating, and the state's duty cannot be relinquished. Thus, the state may convey lakefront property to private parties, but it must convey the property subject to the public trust.
Web forum aims to connect those with interest in Great Lakes
MUSKEGON, Mich. (AP) -- A forum created by the Biodiversity Project offers users a chance to discuss and debate issues affecting the Great Lakes. On the Web site, called Great Lakes Town Hall, people may share personal stories and photos, read Great Lakes-related articles and participate in online discussions and debates with scientists and policymakers.
Attorney warns of dangers in water protection plan
When governors of the Great Lakes states endorsed a strategy for preventing water raids by covetous outsiders, some of the loudest cheers came from leaders of environmentalist groups. But an attorney known for leading the fight against a water bottling operation in Michigan's northwestern Lower Peninsula doesn't share their enthusiasm.
Residents can view TC waterfront ideas
Residents can review design ideas for Traverse City's waterfront drafted by Michigan State University students.
The university's Small Town Design Initiative worked with the city and residents for months to develop six conceptual designs for the city's 12,000 feet of bayfront.
Great Lakes Environmental Center, has a new URL
It is www.glec-online.com GLEC is headquartered in Traverse City, Michigan. The Center
was established in June 1989, to serve the expanding environmental
needs in the Great Lakes basin and throughout the United States.
The Center has diverse capabilities focused on aquatic/sediment
toxicology, non-point source pollution evaluation, environmental
chemistry, bioconcentration/bioaccumulation evaluation, environmental
assessment and analysis, environmental planning, environmental
compliance, risk assessment, regulatory services, and environmental
Priority placed on saving resource
Historically, conserving water hasn't been a high priority around the Great Lakes. Now, fear of losing water to outsiders is leading some people in this aquatically blessed region to embrace the principle of thriftiness. In this three-part series, The Associated Press examines this trend.
MCWC Wins Protection of Stream System from Court of Appeals
Mecosta, Michigan: The Michigan Court of Appeals released it’s ruling on the controversial case of Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation v Nestles Waters North America. Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation (MCWC) won protection of a stream system deprived of 24 percent of its water as the result of Nestle’s pumping and diversion of water for the sale of bottled water. The Court further curtailed Nestlé’s pumping to 200 gallons per minute pending the decision on remand.
Conservation becoming a priority in Great Lakes region
When the Metalworks company set out a couple of years ago to manufacture office furniture in a more environmentally friendly way, a consultant made a suggestion: Why not use less water? Managers realized they hadn't given much thought to the roughly 24 million gallons used each year to prepare metal filing cabinets for painting. They reconfigured the Ludington plant's conveyor washing system to recycle water before sending it down the drain.
"How The Grinch Will Steal Water" : The Great Lakes Annex 'Return Flow' Condition
"The world's largest for-profit water service corporations have set their sights on North America: Suez and Vivendi (now Veolia) from France and RWE-Thames from Germany. All three have major subsidiaries in North America - United Water, U.S. Filter, and American Water. [with subsidiary Canadian Water in many Canadian municipalities]. These corporations specialize in taking over public water services from cash-strapped governments and running them on a for-profit basis. Contracts often cover a 25-to-30 year term...In January 2003, Suez, closely followed by Vivendi (Veolia) and RWE, announced that they were going to target cities in the United States and Canada for their expansion. Their stated goal was to transfer 70 per cent of the water services in both countries from public to private hands over the following ten years.
Fighting to Save the Great Lakes
Most Michigander's are surprised to find out Michigan is the only Great Lakes state with no legislative protections against water withdrawals or diversions out of the Great Lakes basin. Michigan faces the continued risk of water being bottled or shipped out-of state and overseas until our lawmakers take action.
Threats to the Great Lakes
The long-term health of the Great Lakes is in danger. These symptoms show that the Lakes are dangerously out of balance almost to a point beyond which we will have forever lost the Lakes as we now know them.
Acid on the rocks: Sulfide mining poised to tunnel into Michigan
It’s a brutal romance that takes many forms. At Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, a six-hour drive due north of Lansing, Lake Superior lobs endless volleys of turquoise breakers into orange sandstone cliffs. Far to the northwest, a more austere coastline wraps the remote Keweenaw Peninsula, where whitecaps slap dark haunches of stone that contain no fossils because they predate all life on Earth.
Sulfide Mining and Sulfuric Acid Mine Drainage in Michigan's Upper Peninsula
New mining ventures in Michigan's Upper Peninsula could drastically alter the character and environmental health of this area. A Vancouver, Canada, company has bought mineral rights in Michigan U.P. counties and is exploring for Nickel/Copper/Gold/Zinc and other minerals. These minerals are imbedded in sulfide ores, and so a significant byproduct of this mining technology is sulfur, which forms sulfuric acid when it comes in contact with water. This sulfuric acid is also called Acid Mine Drainage, or AMD.
Saving Water, Ford Sees Two Shades of Green
DEARBORN — While Michigan’s top business associations continue their active opposition to proposed state legislation requiring more efficient water use, one of the state’s largest companies is sharply reducing its own water consumption, saving large amounts of money by doing so, and urging fellow manufacturers to do the same. "Despite common assumptions that water is cheap and plentiful, it's not," said Tim O'Brien, vice president of corporate relations at Ford. "Dirty, wasted water isn't renewable and it's no longer available to the public. We understand we have a responsibility to adopt water practices that protect this resource and insure that it's available for all users."
Ice Mountain bottler negotiating to purchase water from Evart
EVART, Mich.—Nestle Waters North America Inc. is in talks with local officials to begin purchasing city water that would be trucked 40 miles to its Ice Mountain water-bottling plant in southern Mecosta County. To make the offer more enticing, Nestle Waters said it's willing to build 14 acres of baseball and softball diamonds and a football practice field by next year. The Greenwich, Conn.-based company also would relocate at least 300 campsites at the Osceola County Fairgrounds to provide a natural buffer around Evart's water wells.
EPA is blending a foul mess for Michigan waters
While raw sewage once openly flowed into our rivers and lakes, the Clean Water Act (1972) mandates the treatment of all human waste and resulted in major water quality improvements in the Great Lakes and all our waterways. Unfortunately, the Environmental Protection Agency's proposed "Blending Policy" - on which a final decision is expected in February - ignores the act and returns Michigan and the rest of the United States to the Third World strategy of releasing sewage without adequate treatment.
Funds committed for protecting Great Lakes
Through the Canada-Ontario Agreement (COA) Respecting the Great Lakes Basin Ecosystem, the provincial government is investing $50 million over five years to conserve and restore the Great Lakes and protect the province’s unique coastal environment.
Forces at Work in Lansing May Threaten Water Forever
We recently voiced our concern about the diversion of Michigan's fresh water from the watershed. We used Nestle's Ice Mountain Spring Water bottling plant in Mecosta county as an example. And despite a couple of comments from people who think I am 'all wet,' my concern is growing.
Ross Biederman Water Editorial
It’s our water…by law. It should not be sold or exported. Not a single drop! I hope you’ll take the time to tell this to not only Governor Granholm, but your State Senator and Representative. The time is now to take action to protect ALL of our fresh water!
Campaign generates new focus on Great Lakes
President George W. Bush and Sen. John Kerry, after some tepid earlier words, have strong ones opposing the diversion of water from the Great Lakes.
State Dems working to pass Water Act
House Democrats have teamed up with the Michigan League of Conservation Voters to try to shame the GOP-controlled Legislature into passing the Water Legacy Act. Michigan is the only Great Lakes state without a water-use plan in place.
MCWC Demands Governor Jennifer Granholm to Invoke Public Trust PDF
This letter is written on behalf of Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation (“Michigan Citizens”) to address the relationship between the public trust doctrine, Michigan water rights, and the extent of federal interests that could be asserted in upcoming negotiations over Annex 2001 and the proposed Michigan Water Legacy Act. The letter also bears upon the pending appeal in Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation v Nestlé Waters North America.1 For the following reasons, Michigan Citizens urges you to protect Michigan’s title and public trust in the waters of our Great Lakes and their tributary lakes, streams, and groundwater.
Groundwater regulations guard against overuse, misuse
Water moves in a cycle, falling from the sky, percolating into soil, flowing to river or lake, transpiring through leaf and evaporating back to sky. Drawing on the reality that it is movable by its nature, as a basic legal principle water is not owned by anyone. We do have the right to use it, but the right must be exercised reasonably. It is in effect a commons to be shared. As with any common or public resource -- such as air, parkland or cultural heritage -- its shared use requires limits, the most fundamental of which is to ensure the public resource is not diminished or destroyed.
Governor's help for Nestle places our water at risk
Good public policy and even-handed rules of law are not drafted to accommodate exceptions for special interests. This may not be the example with the Water Legacy proposal because it may not apply to the Nestle Waters North America, Inc. diversion and sale of water under the Ice Mountain brand for bottled and containerized water. If our water law makes exceptions for Nestle or other corporate giants that want to seize our water, our chance for protecting our water legacy, which is recognized by our common law and the public trust in our waters, will be lost.
Bottling Mich. water springs debate
A company whose water-bottling operation is being contested in court may have found a second source of water. Evart, population 1,700 in Osceola County, has invited Ice Mountain Spring Water Co. to buy water that flows from its public wells near Twin Creek. The offer could spark new debate over large-scale withdrawals in a state that has very few restrictions.
Use our water, town tells bottler
Ice Mountain, the bottled-water company with major operations near Big Rapids, has been looking for a second source of water. It may have found one, without even turning a shovel of dirt. Evart, population 1,700 in Osceola County, has invited Ice Mountain to buy water that flows from its public wells near Twin Creek.
Bottled Water or Better Toilets?
If crisis begets opportunity, the people of the Great Lakes ride in the catbird seat. As global demand for clean water steadily escalates, the Midwest is attracting entrepreneurs who would gladly quench humanity’s thirst by selling tanker ships full of Lake Superior and truckloads of handy plastic bottles filled from natural springs.
Governor’s Conservation Bill Treads Water
Three months after Governor Jennifer M. Granholm presented the Michigan Legislature with a “comprehensive plan” to improve stewardship of the state’s unmatched fresh water resources, the cornerstone of her Great Lakes initiative is swiftly losing political momentum.
Huge water bottler scouting this area
The Nestle Waters company has scouted out some of Emmet County's plentiful spring water sources to potentially help feed its Mecosta County plant, where Ice Mountain bottled water is packaged, according to a company spokeswoman.
Nestle Waters Scouting NW Michigan Area
The Nestle Waters company has scouted out some of Emmet County's plentiful spring water sources to potentially help feed its Mecosta County plant, where Ice Mountain bottled water is packaged, according to a company spokeswoman. But there aren't plans to pursue any local sites at this time as additional water sources.
Nestle dealt blow in Ice Mountain case
The Nestle-owned Ice Mountain Spring Water Co, which was told to stop drawing water from underground wells, has had its request for a retrial denied.
Overdue water bills top $48 million
“We believe the city of Detroit is completely incapable of managing the water department, and this is just one more example of it,” said Mike Greiner, deputy mayor of Warren. The city is suing Detroit over its water charges and is one of several suburban communities that has requested a moratorium on future rate hikes.
Michigan residents must fight siphoning of our Great Lakes
In 1995, World Bank vice president Ismail Serageldin said, "The wars of the next century will be fought over water." One battle is being waged right here in Michigan courts, Michigan government and Michigan stores.
Revenge of the riparians
When environmental and community activists and attorneys teamed up with the Ho Chunk Nation to drive Perrier out of Wisconsin a few years ago—despite the assistance of the state Department of Commerce and state Department of Natural Resources—the water bottling giant quickly moved to Michigan to set up its environmentally costly operation. Our victory was looking like Michigan’s loss.
Bottled water like snake oil to this critic
Like it or not, the industry has done an impressive job of hoodwinking a large segment of American society into believing that its product is not only hip but far safer than the stuff that comes out of the faucet.
Nestle Waters Corporation: a World View
What we have learned is that international trade agreements can be invoked once an international corporation (like Nestle) has negotiated a deal to extract water and sell it. It becomes a commodity on the international market and cannot be later protected by state or local law.
Decision on Ice Mountain plant draws attention of environmentalists
The state Department of Environmental Quality's explanation of why it supported Ice Mountain Spring Water Co.'s effort to maintain access to wells in Mecosta County has come under fire from environmentalists.
State action in Ice Mountain case signals trouble. The Granholm administration didn't need to get involved in the Ice Mountain case but chose to anyway -- and not on the side of water. It's a dismal sign of the economic and political pressures surrounding water use in this state.
Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation vs. Nestlé Waters (Perrier/Ice Mountain)
2/13/04 — Circuit Court Judge Lawrence Root rejected Nestle Waters (Ice Mountain) motion for new trial in written decision released to the parties this morning, Friday, February 13, 2004. His previous 67-page ruling ordered the shut down of the pumps at the Sanctuary well field because the private diversion and sale of water diminished stream flow and lake levels and was illegal under Michigan water law. Nestle Waters alleged in its request for a new trial that there were some errors in Judge Root's 67 page opinion. Judge Root, in yet another careful and well reasoned decision on the scientific facts involving the direct connection of the groundwater and the lakes and streams, found Nestlé's assigned mistakes as without merit or completely immaterial to the basic facts supporting his earlier decision.
1/13/04 — Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation (MCWC) and Nestle Waters North America, Inc. will meet again , in the Mecosta County Circuit Court, 400 Elm Street, Big Rapids, MI before Judge Lawrence Root. Nestle is asking for a new trial and amendment of the Court's 67-page opinion and order.
12/16/03 — Nestle has applied for an emergency appeal to get the stay of Judge Root's injunction. It is imperative that as many people as possible call or email: Granholm, Dana Debeld (Granholm's enviro. advisor) and Steve Chester (head of the DEQ) ASAP and tell them NOT to support the stay. Please forward the message to as many people as possible. PLEASE act quickly and ask others to do the same. Thanks.
**this water issue is politically huge. People everywhere want the opinion of Judge Root to stand, and the government to support it.
**the DEQ should be very careful not to make it appear to the public that the government and the Administration supports Nestle
**the best thing DEQ can do for its own concerns is to ask the Ct of Appeals to remand so the trial judge can take up the stay pending the motion for new trial scheduled for Jan. 13, 2004.
**the Judge ruled last Friday that he would revisit and consider the stay on Jan. 13, so there is no true emergency, except Nestle's economic interests.
firstname.lastname@example.org Steve Chester, Director, DEQ
email@example.com Jennifer Granholm, Governor
or firstname.lastname@example.org Dana Debel, Gov's Env'l Affairs Advisor
9/10/2003 — ended the trial of the Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation v Nestle Waters North America, Inc. Nestle gave its closing arguments today with Mr. DeVries pointing out MCWC's misstatements of facts in its post trial reply, Mr. Donnell addressing MEPA, Mr. Goldberg addressing water laws and the Water Rights Deed; and Mr. DeVries concluding with the closing arguments. Mr. DeVries in his closing arguments made the statement that today is not the day for the court to do anything because there has been no actual injury and if there is actual injury at 400 gmm then the court could have Nestle add sand, fish, and a longer dock to Shelly and Jeff Sapp's Thompson Lake property; stock pike for those on the Tri-Lakes; and the character of Dead Stream for RJ and Barb Doyle will not be changed by 1/2", but if there are changes Nestle would do same for them as on Thompson Lake. The members and friends of MCWC were not in favor of any of the suggestions from Mr. DeVries. MCWC is standing strong to protect Michigan water and natural resources for future generations and know long term is more important than the transit things that are going on day to day. Nestle did not cite one case where it is lawful for it to do what it is doing in Mecosta County.
Jim Olson ended the day in the courtroom with his outstanding rebuttal to all claims of the three Nestle lawyers as presented. Under MEPA, Mr. Olson explained to the courtroom, the judge can set limitations on flow and levels before natural resources or water become scarce, unique, or harmed. He suggested to the court that flow and measurement levels be recorded: 1)Where water comes out of Osprey Lake for flow, 2) flow and measurement at the Doyle's, and 3) installing another gage south of Doyle's. Jim Olson's rebuttal blew Nestle right out of the water.
The trial is over. The injunction will be heard at a later date, but Nestle will continue to send data to MCWC's hydrogeologist Dr. David Hyndman. Thank you to everyone who hung in there day after day at the trial. A hugh thank you to Jim Olson and the staff at Olson, Bzdok & Howard. MCWC's work is not done, we have just begun to make a big difference in Michigan and around the world.
July 17, 2003 — Jim Olson sent Judge Lawrence Root a motion for temporary injunction under common law of water in Michigan and pursuant to Section 4 of the Michigan Environmental Protection Act (now Part 17 of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act), MCL 324.1704(1) against Nestle pending a final decision by the judge. The hearing will held before Judge Root on Wednesday, August 20, 2003, at 1:30 p.m. at the Mecosta County Circuit Court. The purpose of the motion is to impose limits on pumping to prevent or minimize harm to the Dead Stream and adjacent wetlands pending the Court’s final decision.
The facts are Dead Stream has and is suffering serious damage due to a combination of low precipitation and pumping over the past year. The condition of the stream and riparian system continues to be impacted each day and the injunction has been filed to save or minimize even more serious damage.
Nestle thinks Dead Stream is low because of the breached beaver dam. Dr. Hyndman says all the beaver dam dif, if it had any hydraulic effects, was to temporarily retain upstream water around the confluence of the Dead Stream and Gilbert Creek. Dr. Andrews believes the level has dropped ¼ inch based on resend pumping, and Dr. Hyndman has found from the stream levels and flow data, that the stream’s level has dropped by nearly 1 inch due to pumping at the rate of 200 gpm.
During the judge’s site visits of July 5 and July 9, 2003, the staff gauge at Doyle’s had gone from 1.35 inches to 1.39 inches. The mud flats were covered up to the grassy area and were more navigable than at 1.3 or 1.35. This confirms Dr. Hyndman’s opinion that ¼, ½, or 1 inch would have a significant impact.
When R .J. Doyle testified, he showed photos of Dead Stream from July 2002, and compared the area to now, July 2003. Dead Stream is the lowest he has ever seen. There was a difference of about 1.2 inches from 2002 to 2003.
According to law, the diversion by Nestle from the riparian system and out of the watershed measurably and materially diminishes the flow of the Dead Stream, Thompson Lake or Tri-Lakes, or alienates and severs riparian waters from the riparian land for purely artificial and non-riparian purposes.
The claims in this case arise under the common law of water rights, especially of riparian landowners to natural flow and water level, and the MEPA. This case shows a violation of the common law water rights and the MEPA, which prohibits conduct that is likely to pollute, impair, or destroy the environment, and specifically authorizes temporary injunctions to preserve the status quo of the environment from further degradation.
MCWC is asking the Court:
• Prohibit Nestle from pumping above 200 gpm;
• Order Nestle to stop pumping above 100 gpm when the water of the Dead Stream at staff gauge Doyle drops below 960.2;
• Order Nestle to stop pumping above 100 gpm during late Winter and early Spring when the level at M-20 Bridge falls below 960.5;
• Order Nestle to stop pumping altogether when the Summer water level of the Dead Stream at Doyle’s drops below 960.1.
MCWC is also asking the court to order Nestle to continue all measurements of flows and levels and pumping data and to submit this data to Dr. Hyndman so he can continue to monitor the system to assure compliance with the temporary injunctive order.
July 02 The trial opened today with Chris Shafer putting Dr.Mark Luttenton on the stand for buttal to David Cozad. The greater part of Dr. Luttenton's testimony was explaining spawning in the Dead Stream, Tri Lakes, and Thompson Lake. On his numerous visits to the area, Dr. Luttenton observed four pairs of northern pike in the Dead Stream, took a pontoon boat around the Tri Lakes to survey northern pike spawning areas, and the spawning areas of large mouth bass and bluegills on Thompson Lake. If the water levels continue to decline, only a fraction of the Thompson Lake will be suitable for spawning and Dead Stream will not be suitable for pike spawning. On the Tri Lakes, pike spawning has been reduced because of growth in vegetation, homes being built, and bulkheads. Photos taken by Dr. Luttenton show historically the level of Dead Stream has been higher as can be seen by high water bands on the upstream wings of the M-20 Bridge. Photos, offered as exhibits, taken by Bill Belligan of Lansing and Round Lake on the M-20 bridge abutment support Dr. Luttenton's photos.
After the lunch break and almost two hours of lawyers talking of rebuttals and/or sur rebuttals, Dr. David Hyndman, MCWC's hydrogologist, was called to the stand. Dr. Hyndman disputed Dr. Andrews testimony from July 1. Dr. Hyndman concluded that a reduction at the Doyle property on Dead Stream is the same as the reduction at M-20. Dr. Hyndman's testimony will continue tomorrow.
After the trial has ended, both sides will submit a post trial brief to the court and then MCWC will have two weeks to respond to Defendant's Brief. MCWC will be back in court in September for it's closing arguments.
July 1 The trial resumed Tuesday morning at 9:00 AM in the Mecosta County Circuit Court with Nestle resting its defense case. Dr. Charles Andrews, expert for Nestle, was called to the stand by Jim Olson, attorney for MCWC, for cross examination. Dr. Andrews testimony centered on the drastic decline in Dead Stream water levels.
Shelly Sapp, riparian owner and plaintiff, was called to the witness stand in the afternoon. She has been taking pictures of Dead Stream in front of Barb and R. J. Doyle's, at Thompson Lake, at the M-20 Bridge at Dead Stream, at Gilbert Creek, and the Culvert coming out of Osprey Lake. She had over 50 pictures put into exhibits of these locations showing gauges, levels, and physical characteristics of these areas. She would take pictures everyday at the same time and location at Dead Stream. Shelly Sapp lives on Thompson Lake and started taking pictures of that area in April 2002. The level of Thompson Lake is now at the level it was in November 2002. She pointed out this level is fall level without going through the hot summer months. Through her photos, one was able to follow the progression of lowered stream and lake levels and the actual harm that has occurred to Dead Stream and Thompson Lake. She produced two other notebooks of photos that Nestle wanted to make duplicates. She had been taking pictures of Dead Stream and Thompson Lake everyday since the beginning of June. The mud flats at Doyle's property were observed by R. J. Doyle in early June and he testified later in the day he has never seen Dead Stream with mud flats like now in the forty years he has owned property on Dead Stream. The pictures speak for themselves.
Kevin Doyle was called to the stand to testify on the mud flats in front of his parents home and on the Blue Lake Dam levels controlled by boards. He testified the boards in the Blue Lake Dam are under the authority of the Mecosta County drain commissioner. All of the boards in the dam are in the dam and the water was flowing over three spill ways on June 30, 2003. He has never seen mud flats on Dead Stream as they are appearing now.
R. J. Doyle presented over 15 photos to the court showing Dead Stream as it looked as far back as 1970 and up until June 2003. He has never seen the amount of exposed mud flats. Mr. Doyle is a riparian owner living on Dead Stream and is not happy with the area of Dead Stream now and has never seen the Dead Stream area like this.
The trial ended at 6:15 PM and is to resume again tomorrow morning at 9:00 AM. Dr. Mark Lutterton, stream ecologist; David Hyndman, hydrogeologist; and others will be called to the stand to hopefully wind up the trial.
June 09 The trial continues on Tuesday and Wednesday, July 1st and 2nd, in the Mecosta County Circuit Court in Big Rapids, Michigan. Mark your calendars. Spent another day in court on Friday, June 6, 2003 thinking both sides would rest their cases. As you read, it will continue for another two days in July. Dr. Barb Madsen was called to the witness stand for rebuttal of Nestle's witness. Dr. Madsen did a superb job. She stands behind what she has stated about wetlands and vegetation since her first visit to the area in 2002. Dr. Andrews was called to the stand by Nestle. He began his testimony explaining his opinion of the sudden drop of 4 inches of Dead Stream that was observed by R. J. Doyle when he returned to Mecosta after a week and a half away. Dr. Andrews conclusions on a 4 " sudden drop in Dead Stream were: the "mud flat" area at Doyle's is sediment from Cole Creek and the beaver dam on Dead Stream has been removed. Jim Olson will start cross examination of Dr. Andrews on July 1. Jim Olson will then call other witnesses for MCWC. Every Sunday there will be drop off for returnable bottles and cans to help MCWC with expenses. Keep saving.
June 5, 2003 and the trial continues. Dr. David Hyndman was called to the stand by Jim Olson as a rebuttal witness. Dr. Hyndman was on the stand for the entire day answering questions from Jim Olson and John DeVries. While on the stand, Dr. Hyndman told the court how he calculated the reduction in flow to Dead Stream; the reduction of the levels in Dead Stream, Thompson Lake, and Osprey Lake; and the draw downs of wetlands 112, 115, and 301. Dr. Hyndman was shown an exhibit of a picture taken by him on June 4, 2003 at the Doyle property of Dead Stream looking down stream. The photo showed the low water level with wide areas of exposed vegetation. The stream is very shallow on both sides of the channel. He had taken a picture of the staff gauge on the Doyle property the same evening showing the water level at 1.25 feet. The recent water level was 1.7 feet. Pumping is now at 170 to 200 gpm and he believes a one inch drop is from pumping. If Nestle exceeds 200 gpm, he says the drop will become more and the level to flow relationship will be steeper. Tomorrow, June 6, the trial will resume at 9:00 AM. Dr. Barbara Madsen will continue with her rebuttal of Mr. VandeWaters. Sorry to say June 6 will not be the end of the trial. Judge Root has given MCWC and Nestle two days the first of July to finish with the trial.
June 4, 2003 The trial resumed on Wednesday with David Cozad finishing as witness for Nestle. Mr. Marc Groenleer was called as a witness for Nestle. Mr. Groenleer was hired to examine records of ground water and surface water users in Michigan. Greg Foote was called again as a witness and reported that 4 wells are in operation and Nestle has not pumped at 400 gpm and he has not seen any data of pumping over 300 gpm. The last witness Nestle called was Brendan O'Rourke, plant manager for Ice Mountain in Mecosta. Jim Olson showed Brendon O'Rourke, on cross examination, a picture of Dead Stream taken at 8:00 AM the morning of June 4, 2003 showing an area of Dead Stream as a mud hole. Mr. Olson asked O'Rourke if Nestle was causing this draw down of Dead Stream would Nestle curtail pumping so there would not be further reduction of water in the stream. Mr. O'Rourke did not directly answer this question with a yes or no answer. A group from the Nestle side left the court room while O'Rourke was testifying and visited Dead Stream to investigate this stream. Chris Shafer called Dr. Barbara Madsen as MCWC's first rebuttal witness. Dr. Madsen explained to the court why she does not agree with Nestle's expert Mr. VandeWater.
16-May-2003 Chris Schaffer finished cross-examining Dr. Barbara Madsen and called Dr. Chris Grobbel to the stand. Dr. Grobbel presented historical data of the Sanctuary Site before the dam and the impoundment. The next witness for the plaintiffs was Dr. Mark Luttenton an expert in aquatic ecology and fishes.
Dr. Luttenton made three visits to Dead Stream and found small feeder fish; northern pike, two of them being 24 inches; yellow perch eggs; and brook trout. Conclusion, Dead Stream supports spawning of these fish. Taking into consideration the flow, temperature, and habitat of Dead Stream, Dr. Luttenton believes it to be very sensitive to change even minor changes. The changes he sees happening to Dead Stream are high levels of nitrogen and phosphorus; the phosphorus coming from the deer herd on the Sanctuary Site, increase in aquatic plant growth; and a warming trend of the stream. If the Dead Stream is drawn down 1-2 inches the impacts will be: the northern pike will not be able to spawn, there will be a loss of juvenile fish, sediment will be exposed near the Doyle property, and the water will be altered in the way it moves through the channel.
Thompson Lake will also be altered if the lake drops by 3-6 inches. There will be a loss of fish habitat, the wetlands around the edge of the lake will be altered, and several years of spawning of fish.
As MCWC finished calling witness; Nestle asked for a motion to dismiss the case on the grounds that MCWC did not demonstrate reasonable use to show actual injury of ground water and surface water. The court will take this under advisement.
Jim Olson declared Nestle is taking part of riparian owners water and is shipping it off tract. Mr. Devries, of Nestle’s legal counsel did admit in court that it has shipped bottle water outside the Great Lakes Basin. Not a surprise to us in MCWC.
The defendants called as its first witness Greg Fox at 4:00 in the afternoon. The court was adjourned at 5:00 and will meet again at 9:00 AM on Friday.
15-May-2003 Note change of time. Court resumes on Thursday at 8:30 AM.
Dr. Barbara Madsen, MCWC's wetlands ecology expert, began testifying this morning on her knowledge of wetlands and specifically those located on the Sanctuary Site, around Thompson Lake, and the wetland located north of M20 near Dead Stream.
Dr. Madsen, in her testimony, stated that wetlands are the "kidney" of the ecosystem. With the draw down of wetlands there will be significant impacts that would result in reduction in habitat, open water decrease, quality of wetland reduction, and a lose in area of wetlands. Michigan has already lost 50-70% of our wetlands.
She further stated, not only will the wetlands be affected, but also the bald eagle that is close to one of the wetlands and a blanding’s turtle, a special concern species in Mecosta County, found in Thompson Lake. With a 3-6 inch drop in Thompson Lake, there will also be a loss of open water; lose of peat, and a lose of wetland.
Another educational day for those of us in the courtroom. Chris Schaffer, co counsel with Jim Olson, will cross examine Dr. Madsen tomorrow beginning at 8:30 AM.
10-May-2003 Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation v Nestle has completed its first Of three weeks of testimony. MCWC won an early victory before Judge Root regarding riparian law. In October 2002, Judge Root ruled that riparian law did not apply. On Monday, Judge Root reversed his decision on riparian law and the riparian rights issues is now back in the case.
Jim Olson, Chris Shaffer, David Hyndman, Walt Welch, Jeff Sapp, Paul Sapp, R.J. Doyle, Lee Fickes, Ceo Bauer, Kevin Doyle, Fred Lawrence, Greg Jehnzen, Mary Ellen Bouwkamp, and Greg Bouwkamp all have done an outstanding job. David Hyndman will continue with his testimony on Monday. Listening to MCWC's lawyers, riparian landowners, and MCWC's experts, one can gain a better understanding of the case and what the residents of Michigan are facing.
The law and facts are being presented and the judge will decide whether Nestle/Perrier/Ice Mountain's private diversion and sale of 210 million gallons of water a year off-tract and out of the watershed is unreasonable and the affects on riparian landowners.
The David and Goliath fight continues. MCWC asks all residents of Michigan to join with us as we fight for our water rights!
Granholm Said Yes To Nestle Diversion After Court Said No
Until last week, nothing about the way that Democratic Governor Jennifer M. Granholm does her job resembled the closed-door operating style of her predecessor, conservative Republican Governor John Engler. Engler was ruthless, secretive, and so intent on helping the state’s business community evade environmental laws that he encouraged his senior aides to regularly meet in private with executives to hammer out agreements that generally led to more ecological degredation. But last week the governor did something that environmentalists called surprisingly Engleresque. Ms. Granholm and her senior environmental and economic advisors unexpectedly shut out a feisty citizens group and aided the world’s largest food company in a two-year-old David and Goliath legal struggle that affects all of Michigan.
Sweetwater Alliance Condemns Government Actions Allowing Ice Mountain to Operate
Michigan—The Sweetwater Alliance today issued the following statement concerning the recent court decision concerning the case of the Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation vs. Nestle Waters’ Ice Mountain brand water, and the subsequent actions by the Governor, DEQ and the Appeals court. The Sweetwater Alliance is a statewide network of citizens, activists, and environmentalists dedicated to the liberation of essential resources from corporate control. We believe that the rights of people, wildlife, and all living things to water and other shared resources are sacred, and can never be compromised for the benefit of a few. Sweetwater Alliance’s specific goals are ending the state’s give away of water to Nestle Waters’ Ice Mountain Bottling plant and the state’s policy of denying municipal water to low income residents of Michigan.
DNR Director Chester on the Nestle Ice Mountain Decision
I would like to share with you, the citizens of the State of Michigan, my perspective and reasoning for supporting a stay in the litigation involving the Nestle Ice Mountain “Spring Water” Bottling Plant located in Mecosta County. For those interested in the specific details of the DEQ/DLEG amicus, a copy of the amicus and the Court of Appeals’ Stay are available.
Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation Press Release
Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation has been in a three year epic struggle to protect the integrity of riparian rights and Michigan water law, and to protect the riparian rights invaded and reduced by Nestlé's pumping from the Sanctuary well field, as determined by the trial court after an extensive trial and consideration of the company's selfish desire to pump only spring water that feeds the lakes and streams. The company diverts and sells the water, but has wormed its way into the government with the help of the employees whose jobs it is terminating because of the harm and invasion of water rights and the environment, and the help of the unwitting business community.
Appeals court says Ice Mountain plant can continue water withdrawals
Mecosta County Circuit Judge Lawrence C. Root ruled Nov. 25 that Ice Mountain's water use endangered streams, lakes and wetlands, and ordered the Nestle subsidiary to stop pumping by Tuesday. On Friday, Root denied Ice Mountain's request to temporarily suspend his order during the appeals process, which he said could take three to five years. The appeals court granted the stay of Root's order Tuesday with the condition that Ice Mountain's pumping output not exceed 250 gallons per minute on a monthly average basis.
Environmental Groups Criticize Nestle Corporation’s Job Extortion, Call for Quick Action on Water Protection Legislation
Environmental groups across the state expressed disappointment that the Nestle Corporation cynically exploited Michigan’s economic situation this week by threatening layoffs and that state officials filed an amicus brief in an historic case over Nestle’s water bottling facility in Mecosta County.
Judge denies Ice Mountain's request to stay his own order
A judge denied a request Friday to temporarily suspend his own order prohibiting a water-bottling company from withdrawing spring water from its wells.
Despite the hype, bottled water is neither cleaner nor greener than tap water
Whether a consumer is shopping in a supermarket or a health food store, working out in a fitness center, eating in a restaurant or grabbing some quick refreshment on the go, he or she will likely be tempted to buy bottled water. The product comes in an ever-growing variety of sizes and shapes, including one bottle that looks like a drop of water with a golden cap. Some fine hotels now offer the services of "water sommeliers" to advise diners on which water to drink with different courses.
Mich. Water Shortage Spurs Lawsuits
It might seem unlikely that the Great Lakes state could see water shortages. But in at least three Michigan counties, limited water supplies have led to finger-pointing and lawsuits between families and businesses. Some predict that as demand increases, it's only going to get worse unless the state makes sure the water supply is protected.
Beachcombing Ban Ripples Across Great Lakes
Fences like this one in Ohio could soon interrupt Michigan’s Great Lakes shoreline if the state Supreme Court upholds a lower court decision. Like a boulder crashing into a quiet pond, the recent Michigan Court of Appeals ruling against Great Lakes beachcombing is making big waves across the Great Lakes Basin. The Appellate Court decision, Glass v. Goeckel, has delighted property rights activists
May 9 - May 21, 2004
Mother Earth Water Walk
"In about 30 years, if we humans continue with our negligence, an ounce of drinking water will cost the same as an ounce of gold." Water is essential to survival and health. Everything is related to water. This is proportionate to Mother Earth. Our food sources use water to be nutritious. The medicine wheel teachings are about balance in life.
Michigan residents must fight siphoning of our Great Lakes
In 1995, World Bank vice president Ismail Serageldin said, "The wars of the next century will be fought over water." One battle is being waged right here in Michigan courts, Michigan government and Michigan stores.
court says Ice Mountain plant can continue water withdrawals
(for the time being)
Mecosta County Circuit Judge Lawrence C. Root ruled Nov. 25 that
Ice Mountain's water use endangered streams, lakes and wetlands,
and ordered the Nestle subsidiary to stop pumping by Tuesday.
On Friday, Root denied Ice Mountain's request to temporarily suspend
his order during the appeals process, which he said could take
three to five years. The appeals court granted the stay of Root's
order Tuesday with the condition that Ice Mountain's pumping output
not exceed 250 gallons per minute on a monthly average basis.
Orders Shutdown of Nestle Waters Operation in Michigan (USA)
November 25 – Judge Root’s ruling sets a precedent
and clarifies many critical facets of Michigan water law, including
important protections for the State’s lakes, streams, and
wetlands, which form an essential role in Michigan’s natural
resources, recreation, tourism, and economy. The ruling confined
itself to the specific relationship between the pumping and diversion
of water from the shallow unconfined aquifer that is part of nearby
wetlands, two lakes, and the Dead Stream, a stream that Judge
Root said “is not dead” but “a complex and beautiful