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Water wins in Maine and Michigan

Common Dreams reports that, “After an extended grassroots campaign, Nestlé is finally removing 23 bottled water test wells from a wildlife management area in Shapleigh and Newfield, Maine.”

“Upon realizing that Shapleigh was likely one of the next site for Nestlé’s water extraction for its Poland Spring brand bottled water, residents approached town officials with their concerns about what bottling would do to the local ecosystem. Their words fell on deaf ears, as Nestlé had already lobbied for and secured the support of the Shapleigh town officials.”

“The only option was for residents to take matters into their own hands, forming the group Protect Our Water and Wildlife Resources (POWWR). Members hit the streets and went door to door educating the public and signing enough petitions to call a town meeting, held four months ago.”

“Residents in both Shapleigh and the neighboring town of Newfield passed ordinances that asserted the right of townspeople to control their own water and to prohibit commercial water extraction…”

“Earlier this month another community group, the Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation, secured a major court victory against Nestlé after nine years of legal battles and Nestlé appeals.  The settlement requires Nestlé to dramatically reduce pumping during summer months at a critical well site in Northern Michigan, and prohibits the corporation from increasing pumping levels in the future.”

A media release from Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation states, “The modified injunction order reached by agreement (on July 6) will end the 9 year dispute and become a final and permanent injunction that reduces Nestlé’s original intended water removal by 50 percent.”

The Council of Canadians extends its congratulations to Maine’s Protect Our Water and Wildlife Resources and Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation for their wins in the protection of water.

To read more about Protect Our Water and Wildlife Resources, you can go to a foundation website at http://grassrootsfund.org/groups/protect_our_water_and_wildlife_resources_me/.

To read about Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation, go to their website at http://www.savemiwater.org/.

You may also remember that the struggle in Michigan was featured in Irena Salina’s film FLOW. More on the film at http://www.flowthefilm.com.

The full report from Common Dreams is at http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2009/07/24-3.