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Nestle to Begin Draining Millions of Gallons of Arkansas River water
Colorado Independent ^ | 6/16/10 | SCOT KERSGAARD

Posted on 06/16/2010 4:00:52 PM PDT by nickcarraway

Considering that you can just turn a tap and get the same water, this deal is absurd’

If things go according to plan, in about a month someone at Nestle Waters North America will turn a valve and water will begin running out of a pipeline near Buena Vista and will splash into an empty 8,000-gallon tanker truck. It will take roughly an hour for the truck to fill, and then another truck will take its place. The water will run 24 hours a day, filling approximately 25 trucks each day, every day.

The trucks will drive 120 miles to a Nestle bottling plant in Denver where the water will be used to fill hundreds and thousands and millions of little plastic Arrowhead Springs water bottles, which will then be trucked to convenience markets, grocery stores, movie theaters, and sports palaces around the West. Each month, Nestle will fill roughly 40.4 million 16.9 ounce bottles with the water from the area’s Nathrop spring. By the end of a year, 65 million gallons of Arkansas Valley water will have been driven to Denver, bottled, driven somewhere else, and sold.

Not everyone is happy about this. Buena Vista and Salida have birthed a protest movement that has been more noisy than effective. By some estimates, 80 percent of the roughly 17,000 people in Chaffee County are opposed to this diversion of water. Still, when it came time to issue permits, the three-member Board of County Commissioners was unanimous in approving Nestle’s plans.

In the end, it was probably a combination of fear and Old-West style property rights values that carried the day for Nestle.

Commissioner Tim Glenn, the lone Democrat on the board, told a local reporter “Out and out denial of the permit… well you know what would’ve happened… we would have been sued.”

Commission Chair Frank Holman, on the other hand, thinks the Nestle deal is good for the county. “It is a good thing,” he said. “The county will get 12 to 15 new full-time truck driver jobs out of this. And those jobs are sorely needed,” he said.

Fifteen jobs and cash

The water itself comes from an underground aquifer. Nestle drilled wells and built a five-mile pipeline to deliver the water to a facility in Johnson Village, where its trucks can be filled. Because Nestle does not own the rights to haul off all of this water, it has leased augmentation water from the City of Aurora, which will be released into the Arkansas River about 15 miles upstream from where Nestle will be getting its water. Nestle’s water will come mostly from the underground aquifer, which also feeds springs that flow into the Arkansas. No one knows to what extent that flow will be curtailed.

Holman plays down concerns. He said that most of the water Nestle will be draining away would have flowed directly into the Arkansas, so the Aurora augmentation water more than makes up for what will be piped to Johnson Village and poured into trucks. He adds that the deal is now a matter of private property rights. Nestle now owns the land where the water originates, he said, and the company has leased the augmentation water to replace the water its carting away, so Nestle is well within its rights.

“Nestle is a good neighbor,” he said. “They are giving us money to help with schools. They are creating a conservation easement on their land. And they are creating river access for fishermen.”

Nestle has given $500,000 to two local school districts as an endowment from which the districts can spend the interest or earnings. The company has verbally promised to create a conservation easement on most of the land it has purchased, but no easement has yet been recorded.

Once the water starts pumping

Sarah Olson, producer of the award-winning documentary “Tapped,” which explores the world of bottled water, said that when Nestle comes to an area, the company often seems like good neighbors to small towns that need jobs and money but, in the end, residents take a different view.

She said that Nestle has a history of pumping more water than its permits allow. “Every situation is different, but a lot of things that are in the agreements between Nestle and any community are difficult for the community to monitor. Once the agreements are signed and Nestle begins pumping water, it is so easy for Nestle to take advantage of people and it is so difficult to stop them.”

The permit issued to Nestle by the county contains 44 conditions that Nestle needs to meet. “We all tried to impress on the commissioners that Nestle would agree to the conditions and then ignore them. The oversight issue is very real. Nestle will probably follow the conditions for a while, but two or three years down the road, who knows?” said John Graham, president of Chaffee Citizens for Sustainability, a group formed specifically to oppose the Nestle deal.

Nestle spokesperson Catherine Herter told the Colorado Independent that the company enjoys a good, collaborative relationship with the Chaffee County community, but she referred most specific questions to someone else, who so far has not returned calls for comment.

Nestle has spent more than $4 million purchasing real estate along the Arkansas. Some of that land has been drilled for wells. It also purchased a little over an acre in Johnson Village. The company originally planned to bottle water from two sources, but one of the sources proved unsuitable, and that is the land, surrounding Big Horn Springs, that may become part of a conservation easement.

Nestle is paying Aurora $160,000 a year for the water. The amount paid increases 5 percent a year for the first 10 years of the lease. After 10 years, Nestle has the option of requesting a second 10-year term. If Aurora agrees, the price will increase 3 percent a year for the final 10 years. Nestle can break the agreement at any time. Aurora can only break the deal if it can demonstrate that it needs the water for its own uses. The Aurora City Council voted 7 to 4 to approve this deal last year.

“The thing that gets me most fired up,” said Graham, “is how illogical it is to take our water, pipe it five miles to a truck plant, send 25 trucks of it to Denver every day, and then put it in plastic bottles. Considering that anyone can just turn a tap in their home and get the same water. It is just absurd.”


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Local News; Outdoors
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 06/16/2010 4:00:52 PM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway

No Nestle water for me.


2 posted on 06/16/2010 4:02:51 PM PDT by LadyPilgrim ((Lifted up was He to die; It is finished was His cry; Hallelujah what a Savior!!!!!! ))
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To: nickcarraway

I dont have a problem with this.


3 posted on 06/16/2010 4:06:05 PM PDT by taxcontrol
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To: nickcarraway

I can turn on my own tap for free.


4 posted on 06/16/2010 4:06:13 PM PDT by bgill (how could a young man born here in Kenya, who is not even a native American, become the POTUS)
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To: nickcarraway

Why are people so upset? No one buys water - we only rent it.


5 posted on 06/16/2010 4:06:48 PM PDT by PGR88
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To: nickcarraway

I used to live there. It was a wonderful, sleepy, mining and railroad town. Then the left moved in....’nuff said.


6 posted on 06/16/2010 4:08:45 PM PDT by ladyvet (WOLVERINES!!!!!)
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To: nickcarraway

Ummm... the Arkansas River is low enough, at times, around here in Tulsa, already. If they take any more out of it, hoo-boy! ... we’re not liable to have a river here ... :-)


7 posted on 06/16/2010 4:09:00 PM PDT by Star Traveler (Remember to keep the Messiah of Israel in the One-World Government that we look forward to coming)
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To: nickcarraway

It’s paying a buck a bottle that gets me. It’s nuts up here in NYS...we’ve got great water sources.


8 posted on 06/16/2010 4:10:47 PM PDT by Sacajaweau (What)
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To: nickcarraway
Surely the commissioners could have pushed for a bottling plant to be built, in the county?

I don't get the math - $160K a year for some 65 million gallons?

9 posted on 06/16/2010 4:11:41 PM PDT by ikka
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To: PGR88

I would be upset but since the building of the John Martin Dam in Colorado Kansas up to about roughly Barton County rarely sees water anymore.


10 posted on 06/16/2010 4:13:25 PM PDT by aft_lizard (Barack Obama is Hugo Chavez's poodle.)
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To: nickcarraway
If, as a kid, you had told your Grandparents that you were going to fill bottles with tap water and sell them for more than gasoline they would have taken the belt to you, taken away your radio and made you study extra hard to get rid of those ridiculous ideas.

At my last job folks would buy Starbucks coffee for $4 when there was excellent coffee for free, spend $1.25 for a 16 oz bottle of Aquafina when Polar Water was free, spend $7 for lunch at the cafeteria and then complain that gas was $2.50 a gallon.

I'm sure that it's fairly common.

11 posted on 06/16/2010 4:18:57 PM PDT by Eagles6 ( Typical White Guy: Christian, Constitutionalist, Heterosexual, Redneck.)
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To: ikka
I don't get the math - $160K a year for some 65 million gallon

The last time I checked my water bill I paid an incremental cost of about 0.6¢ per gallon for water and sewer. A little more than half was for the sewer, so let's say it's 0.25¢ per gallon for water alone. For 65 million gallons it would be $162,500. Pretty darn close to my retail price and I could probably get it cheaper if I negotiated for a bulk discount.

12 posted on 06/16/2010 4:20:24 PM PDT by KarlInOhio (I am so immune to satire that I ate three Irish children after reading Swift's "A Modest Proposal")
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To: LadyPilgrim

I simply must chuckle over the fact people are paying for what amounts to tap water from hundreds of miles away.

Are people really this vapid?


13 posted on 06/16/2010 4:21:10 PM PDT by padre35 (You shall not ignore the laws of God, the Market, the Jungle, and Reciprocity Rm10.10)
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To: nickcarraway

What no 10 year study over some bacterial critter….friends of government” getting their cut; and screw everyone else.


14 posted on 06/16/2010 4:22:58 PM PDT by ntmxx (I am not so sure about this misdirection!)
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To: Star Traveler
Aw, jeez.

According to the USGS, the mean daily discharge of the Arkansas River near Nathrop, Colorado, is about 16,500 gallons per second in June. Yeah, let's deny those 15 people jobs because a bunch of silk stocking yuppies are too lazy to do math.

15 posted on 06/16/2010 4:23:28 PM PDT by Mr. Lucky
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To: padre35
I simply must chuckle over the fact people are paying for what amounts to tap water from hundreds of miles away.

At work we get 5 gallon bottles of water from the same town I grew up in. I know it was filtered and softened before bottling because it was crunchy hard when it comes out of the well. It built strong bones - in you guts, your tub, your water pipes, your water heater, ...

16 posted on 06/16/2010 4:24:59 PM PDT by KarlInOhio (I am so immune to satire that I ate three Irish children after reading Swift's "A Modest Proposal")
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To: nickcarraway

Arrowhead Springs water bottles
_________________________________________

OK No thanks...


17 posted on 06/16/2010 4:25:10 PM PDT by Tennessee Nana
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To: Mr. Lucky

Got plenty of Arkansas River water here..


18 posted on 06/16/2010 4:25:56 PM PDT by navysealdad (http://drdavehouseoffun.com/)
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To: padre35

Are people really this vapid?
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Don’t forget that EVIAN reversed is NAIVE.


19 posted on 06/16/2010 4:28:45 PM PDT by xrmusn ((6/98 ) FIRE ALL INCUMBENTS)
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To: navysealdad

I think I’m going to run to downtown Fort Smith, scoop me up some of that river water and make a killing :)


20 posted on 06/16/2010 4:29:13 PM PDT by Hoosier Catholic Momma (Arkansas resident of Hoosier upbringing--Yankee with a southern twang)
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To: Mr. Lucky

The yuppies are in Colorado ... it’s the Okie rednecks down here ... LOL ...


21 posted on 06/16/2010 4:33:16 PM PDT by Star Traveler (Remember to keep the Messiah of Israel in the One-World Government that we look forward to coming)
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To: nickcarraway

as long as fools are buying bottled water, we are not in recession


22 posted on 06/16/2010 4:35:22 PM PDT by bert (K.E. N.P. +12 . Ostracize Democrats. There can be no Democrat friends.)
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To: nickcarraway
Headline says "millions of gallons" while story says 40,000 gallons a day. It will take a very long time to get to "millions" of gallons. But what the hey, I don't drink that phoney "spring" water anyway. Got my own well. And if it helps out a dozen bubbas to drive water trucks around, so be it. Their pay comes from idiots who buy water when it is available for free.
23 posted on 06/16/2010 4:37:32 PM PDT by hinckley buzzard
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To: Star Traveler
Seems like the Okie rednecks wouldn't mind folks having jobs.

To put this in persepctive, 65 million gallons a year is about the average annual rainfall in the eastern cornbelt on one 60 acre field.

24 posted on 06/16/2010 4:38:30 PM PDT by Mr. Lucky
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To: PGR88

Why are people so upset? No one buys water - we only rent it.

so true. And test after test, at least here in O’Fallon, MO, it has been proven that our tap water is more pure than that crap in those plastic bottles.


25 posted on 06/16/2010 4:47:49 PM PDT by Cyclone59 (I ROCK, Guitar Hero said so........)
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To: Mr. Lucky
I don't know where all the water goes at times in the Arkansas river, but there are times when I look out there and you can hardly see water and only a bunch of sand (it's pretty wide here at I-44 and S. Peoria). You'll have a wide stretch of sandy bottom across the river ...

Right now, since we've had a lot of rain recently, it's got plenty of water, but it does go down to almost nothing it seems, at times ... :-)

Here's a map link to the section that I see all the time ... you can put it on satellite view and see how wide it is here. It shows water in there in the satellite picture, but there are times when it's pretty much sand across the entire river ... :-)

26 posted on 06/16/2010 4:50:45 PM PDT by Star Traveler (Remember to keep the Messiah of Israel in the One-World Government that we look forward to coming)
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To: Mr. Lucky

I should say that I’m used to the Columbia River, in Oregon and Washington and the Willamette River, as it goes through Portland ... when I came back to Tulsa, it was hard to call the Arkansas River a “river” ... LOL ...


27 posted on 06/16/2010 4:52:40 PM PDT by Star Traveler (Remember to keep the Messiah of Israel in the One-World Government that we look forward to coming)
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To: Star Traveler

“I should say that I’m used to the Columbia River, in Oregon and Washington and the Willamette River, as it goes through Portland ... when I came back to Tulsa, it was hard to call the Arkansas River a “river” ... LOL ...”

When I moved to Longmont, Colorado from Tennessee I got my first look at the ‘Mighty’ St. Vrain River. I had a creek behind my house in Tennessee that was bigger than this ‘river’. Of course when you move to a place that semi-arid your perspective changes.


28 posted on 06/16/2010 5:05:50 PM PDT by dljordan ("His father's sword he hath girded on, And his wild harp slung behind him")
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To: padre35

Lol..... but yes!
Pretty expensive too!


29 posted on 06/16/2010 5:31:09 PM PDT by LadyPilgrim ((Lifted up was He to die; It is finished was His cry; Hallelujah what a Savior!!!!!! ))
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To: Star Traveler
the Arkansas River is low enough, at times

I'm in BA. Ocassionally it looks like a river. Normally it looks like a series of mud puddles.

I doubt we'll notice much difference when they start taking water out.

I'd like to see them build some dams to keep water in it, especially through Jenks (which is where I am when I see it).

30 posted on 06/16/2010 7:48:05 PM PDT by LouAvul
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To: LouAvul
You were saying ...

I'd like to see them build some dams to keep water in it, especially through Jenks (which is where I am when I see it).

Yeah, I think I've heard "some talk" about building another "low-water dam" a bit further on downstream from the one which is at the railroad bridge over by the PSO facility (close to 31st Street) ... the Midland Valley Trail & River Parks Pedestrian Bridge.

I don't know how far along the "talk" is, though ... :-)

31 posted on 06/16/2010 7:56:18 PM PDT by Star Traveler (Remember to keep the Messiah of Israel in the One-World Government that we look forward to coming)
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To: Star Traveler

I remember a lot of controversy about it. Tulsans didn’t want to pay whatever tax was going to fund it. And truthfully, I don’t get over to Jenks often enough for it to make a difference, but if they had a river river, they could make it a nice place to be. I grew up on the Ohio River in southern Indiana and the river is a big attraction.


32 posted on 06/16/2010 8:18:59 PM PDT by LouAvul
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To: padre35

In a word, “yes.”


33 posted on 06/17/2010 2:06:06 AM PDT by NVDave
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