On Wednesday, activists from across the state descended upon two Nestle water-bottling plants – one in Los Angeles and one in Sacramento. Courage Campaign led the protest. According to the organization’s website, “Courage Campaign fights for a more progressive California and country. We are online community powered by more than 900,000 members.”
Activists demanded Nestle halt its bottling operations during the California drought, a Courage Campaign press release stated. A petition circulated by Courage Campaign and its affiliates collected more than 500,000 signatures from people across the nation, urging Nestle executives and the California Water Resources Control Board to stop bottling production across the state.
“With people across California doing their part to conserve water — it’s time that Nestlé did the right thing and put people over profits – by immediately halting their water bottling operations across the State,” Tim Molina, Strategic Campaign Organizer for Courage Campaign, said in a release. “If Nestlé won’t do what’s right to protect California’s precious water supply, it is up to Governor Brown and the California Water Resource Control Boards to step in and stop this blatant misuse of water during our State’s epic drought.”
The protest comes after Nestle CEO Tim Brown stated he had no plans of moving the company’s bottling operations out of the state, despite the severe California drought.
Protestors who showed up to the Nestle plants had signs that read, “Nestle, stop stealing our water” and “Water is a human right.” They also chanted, “Water is a human right, don’t let Nestle win this fight.”
Despite the outpouring of criticism, Brown believes his company is doing the right thing, especially for those in smaller, more impoverished areas of California.
“There are over 1 million Californians who are without safe access to clean water in California today,” Walker Foley of Food & Water Watch, a Washington-based NGO, told The Guardian.
According to Brown, Nestle is answering the consumer demand; the company is happy they are delivering their product based on the consumer need.