Alternative World Water Forum

Eric Andreaus, a hydrogeologist and spokesperson for Nestlé Waters North America, stood up during a monthly Eldred Township meeting in Kunkletown, Pennsylvania, on June 8, 2016, and announced that Nestlé was abandoning its plans to extract 73 million gallons of water per year from the local aquifer for its bottled water business.

Sitting in the crowd with the other members of the public was Donna Diehl, a local school bus driver and one of the community organizers who had been helping lead the fight against Nestlé’s proposal for over a year. She, like most everyone else who attended the meeting, was shocked.

“They were going through the agenda, and [the] Nestlé water issue came up. All of us were surprised when Eric stood up to speak, and at first I was wondering where he was going with it. Then the last sentence came,” Diehl told Truthout.

That last sentence was Nestlé’s official withdrawal from the community and the end of the company’s four-year attempt to build a bulk water extraction operation in Diehl’s hometown.

After citing numerous problems with the project, including site logistics and fierce community opposition, Andreaus announced that Nestlé would no longer pursue a permit.

“For all of these reasons and others, and in mutual agreement with the landowner,” Andreaus read, “Nestlé Waters is withdrawing its pending zoning permit application.”

The room erupted in cheers and for the first time since Nestlé began meeting with community members about the project, the company received a standing ovation.

Read more on the website of truthout

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