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1 Backwoods_Sleuth  Jul 17, 2014 5:11:08am

Nestle Chairman Peter Brabeck is the guy who said water isn’t a basic human right. He later said his comment was “taken out of context”.

2 iossarian  Jul 17, 2014 6:43:45am

Comedy. So a real estate developer (about whom I know nothing, but as a group they’re not noted for their liberal ways) has actually noticed that if you deregulate everything and let private enterprise have its way, you end up with everyone screwed because there’s no water left to drink in the area and so no-one wants to buy the McMansions she’s flogging.

I’m as eco as they come but there’s some grim irony in the fact that a Native American tribe has found a way to screw with the rest of us from the tiny godforsaken scrap of land we left them.

3 KerFuFFler  Jul 17, 2014 7:29:35am

Figures that Nestle is involved with this travesty. I try hard to avoid buying anything Nestle’s is involved with because of the boycott over their wicked marketing policies for baby formula in impoverished countries. I’m afraid most people have forgotten about this boycott——-or have never heard about it. It started back in the 70’s. Here’s a little background for anyone that’s curious:

Formula must normally be mixed with water, which is often contaminated in poor countries, leading to disease in vulnerable infants.[4] Because of the low literacy rates in developing nations, many mothers are not aware of the sanitation methods needed in the preparation of bottles. Even mothers able to read in their native language may be unable to read the language in which sterilization directions are written.
Although some mothers can understand the sanitation standards required, they often do not have the means to perform them: fuel to boil water, electric (or other reliable) light to enable sterilization at night. UNICEF estimates that a formula-fed child living in disease-ridden and unhygienic conditions is between 6 and 25 times more likely to die of diarrhea and four times more likely to die of pneumonia than a breastfed child.[5]
Many poor mothers use less formula powder than is necessary, in order to make a container of formula last longer. As a result, some infants receive inadequate nutrition from weak solutions of formula.[6]
Breast milk has many natural benefits lacking in formula(……)Advocacy groups and charities have accused Nestlé of unethical methods of promoting infant formula over breast milk to poor mothers in developing countries.[14][15] For example, IBFAN claim that Nestlé distributes free formula samples to hospitals and maternity wards; after leaving the hospital, the formula is no longer free, but because the supplementation has interfered with lactation, the family must continue to buy the formula.

4 Pie-onist Overlord  Jul 17, 2014 9:01:36am

Nestle wants to control all the water and Monsanto wants to control all the food.


5 1Peter G1  Jul 17, 2014 3:18:20pm

Greed? Do you mean Nestle or the Indians. The natives have been there longer than anyone and if they want to sell some of there water rights who is to say they can’t? The other non-native people who want to take their water?

6 1Peter G1  Jul 17, 2014 3:57:29pm

re: #2 iossarian

Isn’t it ironic? But surely it would be for the greater good to take away one of their few sources of income as well as about their only natural resource. Incidentally do you know what happens to bottled water? Mostly it gets drunk by people. After it is treated by workers paid to bottle and distribute it. (Are they the greedy bastards? I’m still not clear on that.) Whereas the vast majority of water is treated to potable standards and then used to do laundry and water lawns and flush toilets. whatever isn’t used for industrial or agricultural purposes. So who is wasting this water again?

7 Jayleia  Jul 18, 2014 1:01:45am

re: #5 1Peter G1

Definitely greed for one, possibly desperation for the other…I’ll let you try and figure out which is which…no, wait, I’d better explain it since its you. Nestle is greedy as fuck, and, if it is one of the tribe’s few sources of income, then I completely understand why they would sell the water rights (though given your previous track record…).

But that doesn’t change the fact that the aquifer under one person’s land is connected to the aquifer under another person’s land. Given that this is desert land, one has to be careful with water. I fully support the right of people to fuck their own shit up as much as they want in as many gloriously creative ways as they can possibly imagine, as long as they don’t fuck up someone ELSE’S shit who doesn’t WANT their shit fucked up…especially when that shit is something you need to live.

re: #6 1Peter G1

Wao…just, wao. You clearly know that we are referring not to the schmucks working at the plant, but to the business leadership. And how is people drinking water from a plastic bottle any different from drinking the water out of a tap?

8 1Peter G1  Jul 18, 2014 6:31:21am

re: #7 Jayleia

How is it different? I just mentioned that. People drink bottled water. The developer complaining about “our” water wants to use most of that potable water resource for everything else. Drinking will be less than 1% of its use. Now here we have a very clear case of an attempt at expropriating native riparian rights on the theory that they aren’t using their rights the way other people who want their assets would like. Robert Moses would smile upon them.

Now as to the nature of this water, it may be fossil water, that will soon be exhausted as developers are wont to do. Or farmers who use a non-renewable, or very slowly renewable water resource (see Ogallala aquifer) but it may also be a resource that tops up fairly quickly. The geology dictates that. Either way those native water rights belong to them. And if they want to maximize the value of THEIR water by selling it by the bottle that is surely their business. Now the people who want to effectively steal their rights are using the Nestle as a cover. But what they want to do is still stealing from the aboriginals. No doubt, it will be claimed, for their own good.

9 Rightwingconspirator  Jul 18, 2014 7:45:34am

There are hundreds of examples like and unlike this that are consequences of the drought. All the water deals come into question in a drought. It’s easy for advocates to seize upon personalities or perceptions in that environment to make hay.

10 Jayleia  Jul 18, 2014 9:40:29am

re: #8 1Peter G1

Yes, I’m entirely too familiar with how native americans have been screwed over…you’re close to making another “I know more about Detroit than you do” mistake, actually. Please proceed.

But the problem is the native americans should have absolute right to do whatever they want with their land, it does have effects beyond their land (even though their land SHOULD be…well, the whole damn continent). If what we had done was smaller

The problem gets more complicated when you add in the fact that the people who are currently benefitting from the historical theft of the native American land and are living next to them now, and have built their lives there aren’t the people who stole the land in the first place.

It’s complicated. And I love that you try to flip the script and make me the colonialist…doesn’t work too well since Nestle does have an established history of that manipulative colonialist behavior.

11 wrenchwench  Jul 18, 2014 9:59:32am

From the link:


The amount of water that comes out of Millard Canyon, Christensen said, is relatively small when considered alongside various other canyons and the San Gorgonio River. For that reason, he said, the bottling plant’s impact on the area’s water supplies is probably relatively small.

Davis agreed, pointing out that his agency in 2012 recorded a total of 32,000 acre-feet of groundwater pumped in its entire area, from Calimesa to Cabazon. Compared to that, the estimated 750 acre-feet of water drawn from Millard Canyon represents roughly 2 percent. A single golf course can use more water.

“It’s literally peanuts. It’s a drop in the ocean,” Davis said. “You’re talking about such a small amount of water that it’s kind of ridiculous to fight over that. But people will fight over water no matter what.”


Looks like bitter local bickering more than a water crisis to me. I read the whole article. It’s long and rambling, with great quotations like this:

“We hear them honking there every night, pulling trucks in and pulling them out,” Wallis said. “We don’t hear nothing from them, just the trucks.”

An article linked to in the middle of that one is about a golf course. Doesn’t say how many acre feet of water they’re using, but they plan to save 200,000 acre feet per year with their new initiative. Makes the estimated 750 acre feet the Morongos are selling (part of) look pretty insignificant.

12 Jayleia  Jul 18, 2014 11:28:35am

re: #11 wrenchwench

My reaction might have been a bit of my left-wing paranoia about Big Business popping up. But after reading the story about the golf course and on reflection, it does seem rather light on information to help provide context.

More clearly presented Information about local population/water use, and other steps being taken locally to conserve water would be helpful.

That said, I still think running a bottling plant off a spring in the desert in the middle of a drought is…probably not the best idea.

13 1Peter G1  Jul 18, 2014 1:16:37pm

re: #10 Jayleia

I get told I make these “mistakes” quite often but, as usual, I never get told what the mistake might be. Perhaps you will enlighten me. The initial post was clearly a knee jerk reaction. I am trying to help with that. Consider the Nestle and Monsanto comment by Pi-onist. Monsanto had fuck all to do with this. But let us consider what the evil Monsanto does that so offends. They offer for sale seeds for various crops that are bred or genetically modified for specific things like yield, or drought resistance or pest resistance. And Farmers get to buy those seeds or not as they please. NO ONE MAKES THEM. They do so because they get better yields per acre, use less of those expensive pesticides that we could all do without and cope with drought. They buy Monsanto’s products because those products help them to continue in a very tough business. Spouting cant and drivel about the evil world conquering Monsanto does not convince any of these farmers that people who spout drivel on the left are
in any way informed or even sane. It doesn’t help at all to do that. It’s just a different epistemological bubble. And it really gets very tiresome.

14 Joanne  Jul 18, 2014 1:33:18pm

re: #13 1Peter G1

No, what Monsanto does that offends is to:

- sue small farmers for seed drift from neighboring farms, putting some out of business

- sue so populations can’t store seeds (in some cases what that population has been doing for generations)

- puts kill genes in their seed so it’s only one season use

Sorry, I find all three evil as fuck.

As for water, let’s say that the native population sells its water rights. Where does the water come from? You mention aquifers…do they (the aquifer) know man-made boundaries? Is all that water from reservation land? (And even if it is, sorry, you don’t do this in a state suffering from the level of drought CA IS now.)

California, as a state, is in severe drought. Californians as a whole, use far less bottled water than elsewhere. They’re stopping irrigation for farming in the valley areas, and lakes have dried up to being non- existant. This impacts not just good for CA but food they supply throughout the US.

There’s no freaking way they should be bottling water from a state that is running out.

15 Jayleia  Jul 18, 2014 11:02:00pm

re: #13 1Peter G1

Do you recall telling the Pie-onist Overlord that you knew more about Detroit than she does? How’d that work out for you?

You’re making a similar mistake with me, though I don’t normally identify as, nor do I appear to be native American, that is part of my heritage, and I know a bit about our (both non-native and native) history. Its a long, complicated, and shitty history. And this is barely even another shitty, complicated footnote in it. We shouldn’t be telling the tribe not to sell, nor should we have placed them in a position where that was the best option…but its still desert land in a drought. And its still the position that both sides are in RIGHT NOW.

Shouldn’t be watering grass or bottling water in that environment…let ALL the golf courses turn to giant sand traps.

And…as far as Monsanto…you’re actually right about them not having anything to do with this particular thing. And you were going so well for…about half a sentence and, yes, they don’t hold a gun to someone’s head and say “Buy our seed”, no, they patent their seeds and enforce it with the government’s guns, so you use them, and save a bit of the crop to provide seeds for next year (because, that’s how farming works), nope…won’t let you do that, so you have to buy them again…oh, wait…it sucks nutrients out of the soil like you wouldn’t believe “Hey, we got fertilizer for you”, but it also fertilizes weeds, “Hey we got herbicides for you”. And suing farmers because the guy next to them planted the seed and some of it fell on their land? Sorry, that’s all kinds of bullshit,

Its like a hospital, drug treatment clinic, and drug dealer all combined in one evil organization.

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