The Commons

Maine Activists Protect the Commons

Communities in Maine have been engaging
in a struggle to protect their groundwater
resources from the multinational corporation
Nestlé Waters N.A., the largest food
and beverage company in the world.

Nestlé, which is in the business of mining
water to fill plastic bottles for their labels
such as Poland Springs, seeks to expand
its business by increasing the number of
wellheads throughout the state. It is
pumping millions more gallons of spring
water from aquifers each day.

None of these profits are used to address
the grave environmental costs: receding
water levels in lakes and ponds, drawn-down
wells and ultimately depleted aquifers,
damage to roads from the large tanker
trucks used to transport water, the impact
of plastic waste.

Activists in Maine are also well aware that
Nestlé is not just interested in expanding
its business for the purpose of filling
water bottles today. Nestlé is interested in
the control of Maine’s abundant water
resources and is positioning itself to
capitalize on the emerging crisis of global
water scarcity. Activists contend that access
to water is a human right and should not
be sold only to those who can afford it.
This article was originally published in the Spring | Summer 2009 issue of Kosmos Journal. The entire article can be downloaded as a PDF here.