Thursday, April 10, 2008

In the middle of a drought, Florida gives water to Nestle Nestle came into Florida and managed to pull off quite the coup. The company got a permit to take water belonging to Floridians — hundreds of millions of gallons a year from a spring in a state park — at no cost to Nestle. No taxes. No fees. Just a $230 permit to pump water until 2018.

Nestle bottles that water, ships it throughout the Southeast — much of it to Georgia and the Carolinas — and makes millions upon millions of dollars in profits on it. The state granted Nestle permission to draw so much water against the strong recommendation of the local water management district staff. Because drought conditions were stressing the Madison Blue Spring, the staff said the amount of water drawn on the permit should be cut by more than two-thirds.

So while Florida is in a bitter dispute with its state neighbors over water use, it's giving its water away to a private company that bottles and ships it to those very same states.

Shot of a sand bucket by "David," Wikimedia Commons

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