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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Oregon for sale

Do you think Governor Retread will endorse the transaction? In the old days, it would have to go through Goldschmidt. One wonders what the protocol is nowadays.

Comments (44)

Let's face it. If we don't share our water with Californians, they will eventually come after it, and it won't be pretty. Better we should sell it to them in tiny designer bottles ha high prices. But we don't need Nestlé for that.

Did the reporter have to use the word "scotch" when writing about a water issue? The use of the word is appropriate, it's just too clever by half. You don't see stuff like that in papers of record.

It all depends on how much money is tucked into his fancy pansy cowboy boots

This is, IMHO, ridiculous. Nobody gets exercised about soda pop or our State's hallowed beer producers, yet they use the same quantities of water and disposable containers. Yes, you can get tapwater in Boise, but it's not as good as Oregon spring water in much the same way it's not as good as Oregon microbrews.

This promises new jobs in a community that needs them. It will not negatively impact ANYONE/ANYTHING, other than some downtown hypocrit's misguided environmental ethic.

Re: "Better we should sell it to them in tiny designer bottles ha [sic] high prices. But we don't need Nestlé for that."

Allen L.,

Who is "we?" And why haven't "we" done so already?

If I recall correctly, CoPo was bottling and peddling Bull Run water a few years ago....

I'm appalled at the anti-business rants following the Oregonian story about this proposed water bottling plant. I suspect most are from people living in the Portland area that never visit this town and have no clue how difficult it is to find nearby work if you live in the Gorge.

Thanks for pointing out my typing error. But could you try to spell my name right?
"We" is whoever you'd like it to be. To me, it is the people who live here and exercise ownership and control over the natural resources here.
Let me know if you need help with "here" as well.

Deadline for input: March 29th 5:00PM


Governor Kitzhaber
160 State Capitol
900 Court Street
Salem, Oregon 97301-4047

Governor's Citizens' Representative Message Line


(There is an email/message space
available on site above)

Letter from various organizations on letterhead of Food and Water Watch to
Phillip C. Ward, Director of Oregon Water Resources Department.
Re: Water Rights Transfer Application No. T-11249


Re: "'We' is whoever you'd like it to be."

Allan L.,

Water rights in the West are a sensitive matter. In a judicial process, which Nestlé's Cascade Locks gambit became early on, a capricious definition of "we" is not allowed.

Today the Columbia, tomorrow Bull Run.
I bet the Fireman has already cashed a check and designed the labels.

Not the most clearly written article. The article stated that the spring, at it's lowest producing time which is in October, produces about 600 gallons per minute of water. The plant will use 225 GPM of water. Yet the plant will also need about 25 GPM of well water. Why? What did the author miss?

I haven't thought this one out yet, and am having a hard time getting outraged about a company bottling water to sell to suckers willing to pay for it. I'm all for the protection of the enviroment but is the outrage because it is Nestlé or because there is a bottled water industry? Or all of the above? Doesn't the state sell a lot of its natural resorces to industry (fish, timber, minerals etc.) so why is THIS generating such outrage assuming there is fair compensation? I don't use the stuff, but it is legal and the bottles are covered by the bottle bill now...

I agree that the article missed a few important points: Are they paying somebody for taking of this water? Who? How much?

I think another critical point of concern would be what if the spring's production should decrease...would the amount they are allowed to take decrease in kind as a percentage? If they can take up to 225 gals/min based on a low flow of 600 gpm. (37.5%) they I would hope that their max taking would adjust to 37.5% should the spring slow.

By the way, Ketchum, ID (not far from Boise) is home to Trinity Springs, a very pure geothermal water springs. Truly uniquely pure and very delicious water to be found there.

In my opinion,
looks like a spiral out of hell -
leading to globalization and corporate takeover of all aspects of our lives.
The concept of America and our constitution is being sold down the river.....
in favor of others taking the riches of our country while many people are left out to somehow still fit within the system or are just plain left out.

The people that are left out are unfortunately becoming desperate to have to resort to global takeover of resources.

If blame must be cast for lack of jobs and a horrendous situation, the environmentalists and others who resist global takeovers are not the ones to be blamed here for lack of jobs. Look to Congress who allowed manufacturing to leave our country and Wall Street and banks to see why the money has not trickled down to communities.

I don’t see what benefit it is to the fisheries to be trading spring water for well water!
It seems very odd for fish used to spring water, to now be in well water? I would like to know who is responsible for this at the hatchery and state level that would entertain such a plan.

I am not in favor of the taking of water from springs, but if it is done, then for heavens sake, have a local Oregon company do so, so Oregon economy benefits, and so the State is involved in control of the operation and has a long range involvement in all aspects of such an operation. A 50 year contract? We do not know what our water availability will be in future years. Several years of little snow fall could create a shortage. We must not allow others to come in here and capture our water for enormous profit.

The usual kneejerk antibusiness rants.

I don't drink bottled water myself, my well water is probably better than most. But I can't think of a good reason for denying others the right to pay good money for it.

That's what makes the world go around.

My gosh people, have you ever listened to yourselves?

The worlds going around all right, it just happens to be a death spiral.
But business will be business all the way to the bitter end.

John D.,
This is not about denying others the right to pay good money for it.
It is about denying the right to any globalists making enormous money
on what belongs to the people of this state, our public water.

Re: "I haven't thought this one out yet"


Bottled water is mostly a fad, as suggested by the number of bottled waters that are merely packaged tap water. Some bottled water -- Perrier, Evian, Poland Spring, San Pellegrino -- have been successfully branded; Perrier in rare, pale blue, palm-sized bottles is certainly preferable to the mineral-laden, chlorinated, sometimes manganese-tainted tap water originating in the Quabbin Reservoir of western MA and piped in to Cambridge. But consider the last aqueous beverage in that short list, as described last month by Chas Fishman in a NatGeo blog:

"I remember the moment when the silliness of bottled water became vividly clear to me. I was standing in the factory in San Pellegrino, Italy, at the foot of the Italian Alps, where San Pellegrino water is sealed in those shapely green bottles.

Leave aside that the glass bottles weigh more than the water they contain, or the journey those bottles of water have to make, by truck and ship and truck again, to land on a grocery shelf or café table in Manhattan or St. Louis.

The bottles themselves have to be washed before being filled. And as Pellegrino’s wizened factory operations manager explained, they wash the bottles with…Pellegrino water. Before filling them with Pellegrino water.

Of course they do.

But then the silliness took a leap. Where, I asked, do the bubbles in Pellegrino come from? The plant manager’s eyes lit up. Pellegrino water comes out of the ground uncarbonated, in fact. Pellegrino has another spring to the south in central Italy that is naturally carbonated. The company harvests the carbon dioxide from that spring, purifies it, compresses it, trucks it north to Pellegrino, and injects it into the water as part of the bottling process.

No matter how far your Pellegrino water has traveled to get to you, the dancing Italian bubbles that make it so delightful have traveled just a little farther.

San Pellegrino, which is now owned by the conglomerate Nestlé, has a storied history — as a town, as a spring, as a water — but let’s be clear: It’s a product no one needs. It’s refreshing, it’s appealing, but it is a pure indulgence. Whether you live in Milan, just down the road, or Mexico City, where Pellegrino is on the shelves at Wal-Mart. And I say that as someone whose wife and 13-year-old son both love San Pellegrino.

In fact, unless you’re struggling in the aftermath of a natural disaster, unless you live in a developing world nation without safe tap water, all bottled water really falls into that category: luxury, indulgence, convenience."

Nestlé again.

Fishman concludes:

"I love seeing college students leading an imaginative revival of the drinking fountain — and it would be great if the revival spilled beyond campuses into cities. Why do people buy bottled water? Because cities don’t have public water fountains that are easy to use, clean and safe.

The bottled water debates is [sic] a great way of waking people up to the big water issues almost every community faces — scarcity, purity, reuse, sustainability. But the conversation has to move on from bottled water to the water supply itself."

I relish Portland's water and routinely carry it cold in a thermos and other refillable bottles when traveling in the Northwest. If only it were not made so expensive -- along with waste water disposal -- by the unconscionable performances by our elected and appointed officials....

The state of Oregon isn't selling their spring water rights. Don't people actually read the article? The state of Oregon is transferring their water rights to the spring water to the city of Cascade Locks and then the city of Cascade Locks is transferring their well water rights to the state.Cascade Locks will then allow the plant to use the spring water.

I read the article Mike. Are you thinking that the City would just give the rights to bottle the spring water for 50-years WITHOUT being compensated by Nestlé? That exchange by the City to the corporation for compensation is what I was referring to as "selling"...of course the article doesn't reveal what the compensation is.

Or maybe it is just for building the plant??

Transferring vs selling? Now we are into semantics to rationalize the right to water. Well, we can also say that Nestlé isn't "selling" water, they are transferring the rights to drink from their bottle for compensation received. In the meantime, those transferred rights will tie up that spring for 50 years and if that region needs all the water it can get due to severe drought, well, just buy it from whomever has control. Or maybe they will reserve that transference to the 1%, vetting required before taking a sip.

Ever heard of the rule of 3's in survival? the second one says you can live 3 days without water. Only air is more urgent (3 minutes). Hey! a little nano chip in your nose to do an RFID in the number of breaths you take....

It's entirely possible the city is planning to give Nestle the water for free to get them to put a plant there. Look at what Portland gives away to get companies to move here.

In my opinion:

There is something “fishy” going on, I would like to know who at the ODFW is agreeing to trading spring water for well water for the fish and why? Who initiated this plan and why? It seems like the fish are being used somehow to facilitate a precedence here of water transfers allowing corporate privatizing of our public water.

We expect our elected officials to protect our public interests, instead we have mostly been left in the dark until too late, and then people have to plead with officials to be good stewards of our water and resources. Unfortunately, good stewardship is almost like an old fashioned word these days.

Whether it "fits" in the category of actually selling spring water rights or transferring water rights, the state is allowing global interests to come into our state to sell our water.
Many are against corporate privatization of public water. This is happening world wide, and naturally the attempt will be made to take our water as well.

How much of our state’s good water is for the taking through transfer of water rights? 30%, 50%, 65% ? But we haven’t sold water rights to globalists, we have only transferred water rights? What is next, the exchange will be that we get the potentially radiated Columbia River water in “transfer exchange” for our good spring water? Should water shortage occur and it could in the next 50 years, will that transfer of “not well other” water be good enough for the fish, and next good enough for all of us?

Then the 1% in the world can buy what spring water is left. For those who think this is far fetched, do the research as to the water situation in the world.
For starters:

Clinamen: I assume that you understand that spring water and well water both come from the same place - underground aquifers?

I assume that you understand that Intel and Siltronic both use far more water than is proposed in the Cascade Locks scenario, and I assume as well that you understand that these are both "globalist" corporations (who happen to provide a significant number of good jobs in the Portland metro area). Are you in favor of terminating their water contracts and shutting them down, or do you simply believe that Cascade Locks can do without fifty stinkin' jobs?

Did you complain when the City of Portland bottled and marketed Bull Run water a few years ago? Or are you simply caught up in the "hate Nestle" meme - like Sham Adumbs and his silly "hate WalMart" meme?

Finally - a number of years ago, I made a decision to no longer support money-grubbers whose sole justification for existence involves propaganda and litigation. Accordingly, I stopped contributing to Sierra Club, Audubon, and others. PSR, PeTA, HSUS, foodandwaterwatch - none of them are credible; none of them do anything other than solicit donations, protest, and litigate.

HSUS, for example (the "Humane Society of the United States") has a budget of some $32 million, are not affiliated with any animal shelters, do not operate any shelters, and are not involved in humane society operations anywhere.

PeTA has been lambasted because they kill over 95% of animals presented to them for adoption, and in fact got into some legal issues after it was found that animals were killed in the pick-up vans, bagged, and dumped into commercial dumpsters at various business locations.

Audubon and Sierra Club were among those who sued USFWS to prevent the capture of all remaining California condors for placement into an intensively managed captive-breeding program. They eventually lost, and there are now several hundred condors; many have been released into the wild and have successfully propagated there.

Audubon, in a cover story featuring a condor photo several years ago, claimed credit for aiding in the recovery of these majestic birds. That was enough for me, and caused me to examine everyone, no matter how seemingly mainstream, who wants a handout.

Your knee-jerk reaction appears to involve hitting the panic button, but you don't appear to have done much - if any - actual research into the issue. Coming from you, I find that surprising. Usually, you seem well-informed.

Max, your question smacks of the kind of circular questioning illustrated thus:

"Have you stopped beating your wife yet? Answer yes or no."

Can't win for losing. C'mon, you can do better and have.

Hint: Nestle wants total control for 50 years. Intel and Siltronics are users like you and I.

We buy water as we buy gasoline. Nestle wants to own the oil field, metaphorically speaking.

In my opinion of course.

Google: history of water in the West. Marc Reisner's “Cadillac Desert” is a must read.

Interesting. As I read it, it's not an ownership contract, but a lease. Perhaps I missed something, but it looks to me that Nestle purchases the water from the city but does not obtain ownership of the resource. In that case, it's not significantly different from Intel/Siltronic.

I'm not sure what you refer to when you raise the wife-beating issue; CM refers to spring water vs. well water as though there is some substantive difference; there is not. Nestle would be perfectly happy to get away with using well water, but their whole thing is based upon the concept that so many fall for: pure, clean, mountain spring water.

They want the spring water for marketing purposes - and to cover their butts, and with perpetual litigants like Sierra Club hovering around, it's a very reasonable path to take. The fish won't care.

The arguments in opposition resemble the tired "peak oil" stuff: limited resource, blah, blah. And of course, that was based on the idea that oil and natural gas are fossil fuels - when in fact, the only fossil fuels are coal and peat (which we have in abundance). Now it turns out that we're awash in oil and natural gas (which is why nat gas has dropped from $8 to $3 recently).

And, as night follows day, the greens are out there fighting against gas and oil production - admittedly harder to do, as most work is underway on private lands.

If there's one thing Cascade Locks has in great abundance, it's water. If they can get some good jobs from the resource, more power to them.

Don't worry about Starbuck, Max. He has no idea what he's talking about.

All water is owned by the state. The state grants certain use rights to water users in the form of "water rights"(a usufructory right). Sometimes, the state grants itself water rights. All this does is secure the State's right to consume water relative to others (Oregon is a prior approriations state -- first in time, first in right) In this case, the State holds a small water right it intends to lease to Nestle.

If Starbuck is losing this much sleep over this little water right transfer, he must really cry when he reads about the large agricultural water rights the State grants. Talk about selling us down the river! Even worse, those inchoate municipal water permits are gigantic!! And they serve all kinds of foreign owned businesses. The horror!

Oh wait. It's called commerce, and it's a really great thing.

One thing I don't get about this story. If ODFW will exchange water rights at the spring which I believe is above the hatchery and then the spring water just flows to the hatchery for well water rights won't ODFW have to pay to pump that water from the wells to the surface and to their hatchery?

There may be lifting costs, Mike. If there are, I expect the State would require Nestle cover them under the terms of the lease. It's also possible that the groundwater wells are artesian. In any event, I'm confident the State will come out ahead on this one.

You guys are funny!

If you don't even get the wife beating joke and the connection to what Max posted challenging clinamen, then there is no where to go.

Lose sleep? Just where do you get that from my post? Do you bother to ask first?

I didn't think so.

I also don't Curtiss even bothered to look up fossil fuels before making this statement:

"And of course, that was based on the idea that oil and natural gas are fossil fuels - when in fact, the only fossil fuels are coal and peat"

Look it up. I did the homework for you.


You're quoting the wrong guy. I don't care how you guys define fossil fuels. It's not relevant to this conversation.

Right. It was Max. And you are also right. It is irrelevant except that it gets to the issue of who is doing good research.

Right. Wikipedia. Great research there. Ever heard of the Ministry of Truth?

Ministry of Truth! Yea and you are the president! That's how I know you!


Hey! They need some cleanup. Go to it Max. Tell them what's what.

Some background on Portland's bottling Bull Run water 1980's-----Bottled water was just coming into vogue in the early 1980s, primarily sparkling water along the European model. (The ubiquity of bottled still water, which does not have to meet the same water quality standards as municipal supplies, and produces tons of disposable plastic containers, was a later development.) Ivancie directed the Water Bureau to bottle Bull Run water, hoping it would create a niche in the designer water market. Privately, bureau staff groused about the project, as it added cost, diverted staff from other work, and perhaps most importantly did not really provide Bull Run quality water. The water came from Bull Run, true enough, but in bottling it and carbonating it, the chemistry changed, and it just wasn’t as good.

Undeterred, Ivancie used “Bull Run in a bottle” as the centerpiece of a Portland marketing campaign that extended to the 1984 New Orleans World’s Fair. The theme of the fair was “The World of Rivers – Fresh Water as a Source of Life.” Ivancie had Bull Run posters printed, and he commissioned a mobile sculpture that featured flowing water in something of a Rube Goldberg creation to be the drawing point of Portland exhibit at the fair. The Southern Pacific 4449 “Freedom Train” made the trip from Portland to New Orleans, promoting Portland and Bull Run water at every stop. Ivancie sent three employees to staff the World’s Fair booth for three days, but it produced no leads for economic development. In the meantime, Ivancie had been upset in his re-election bid by tavern owner and political newcomer J.E. “Bud” Clark. Ivancie’s defeat, and principal completion of the decade-long changes to the Water Bureau’s physical and financial infrastructure, ushered in a new era.

Don't assume I haven't done any research simply because we don't agree.

I value public ownership of resources and good stewardship for future generations. If I sense dangers to long-range protection, and erosion of public commons, I will raise the alarm, and if that is considered knee-jerk, so be it.

Link and excerpts below:


World Bank partners with Nestlé to “transform water sector”
New venture aims to privatize water country by country

[Washington, DC]: Today, the World Bank launched a new partnership with global corporations including Nestlé, Coca-Cola and Veolia. Housed at the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC), the new venture aspires to “transform the water sector” by inserting the corporate sector into what has historically been a public service. The new partnership is part of a broader trend of industry collusion to influence global water policy.

The Water Resources Group aims to “develop new normative approaches to water management,” paving the way for an expanded private sector role into best and common practices, worldwide.

The Water Resources Group aims to “develop new normative approaches to water management,” paving the way for an expanded private sector role into best and common practices, worldwide. In order to be eligible for support from this new fund, all projects must “provide for at least one partner from the private sector,” not simply as a charitable funder, but “as part of its operations.” The group’s strategy is to insert the private sector into water management one country at a time, through a combination of industry-funded research and direct partnerships with government agencies. Currently, the Water Resources Group is formally working with the governments of Jordan, Mexico, and the Indian state of Karnataka, and discussions are ongoing with the governments of South Africa, China and several other countries slated for participation in the next phase.

Will Oregon be added to that list?

Anti business rant? In my opinion, I would venture to say that those who are pro public interest are for good business policies, level playing field. When just a few own all, which is where we are heading, we may have a hugely unbalanced situation to the detriment of the majority of the people.


"All water within the state from all sources of water supply belongs to the public." ORS 537.110. That's not changing any time soon. Deep breaths.

Now if you have a problem with the state issuing water rights to private parties (i.e., authorizing use of state-owned water), you're a little late to the dance. Oregon's been issuing water rights since 1909 (and 1955 for ground water). Most surface water bodies are already fully appropriated during the summer months. It's been that way for a long time, and no the World Bank's not colluding with Nestle to take your water away.

Because it's difficult to get new summer water rights (again, already fully appropriated), would-be developers usually have to do deals with the people who already have water rights. That's what's happening here. It just so happens that, in this case, the counterparties holding relatively small water rights are the City and State (i.e., they hold a couple of those use rights I mentioned above). It could just as easily have been Weyerhaeuser or Longview holding those water rights. You know, like Longview Timberlands, that dastardly foreign held corporation employing hundreds in . . . Longview, WA.

Also, the passage you quote above is from a Corporate Accountability International news release. For those who aren't familiar, CAI may actually be left of the Sierra Club. A grain of salt or more is in order.

Star: it appears that the fact that Wikipedia is at best an unreliable source of information, and/or my observation of that fact, is extremely disturbing to your fragile psyche. My apologies for harshing your buzz.

However, I've been working with networks since before the w3 existed, and quite frankly, I stand by my assessment of Wikipedia.

Clinamen: I didn't suggest that you had done no research; I simply noted some rather glaring disparities, such as your insinuation that spring water is somehow superior to well water in hatchery operations. There is no difference, as both come from the same aquifer. For the company, the difference is huge, because their marketing effort depends upon the image of "pure, natural, mountain spring water". That's all it is. The corporation would happily use nothing but well water if they thought they could market it as spring water. But doing so would beg for litigation.

Curtiss appears to have addressed the other points with great clarity.

I add: although not a lawyer, it appears to me that the transaction proposed differs in no significant way from those involving chip-makers and other high-volume water users - except that Nestle is contracting to receive substantially less water than the high-tech users. I see no cause for alarm, and jobs are needed in the area.

Mike: thanks for the refresher course on the Bull Run Water thing. Time flies whether you're having fun or not.

Clinamen: note that in my post I did leave wiggle-room for you, noting that you did not appear to have done much - if any research. This does not preclude your having done some.

Intel and Siltronics are not in the same business as Nestle.

(Where angels fear to tread):

We know, Star - now go back to your mom's basement and your obvious wikipedia dependence. You've demonstrated that you aren't worth the time.

Wiki is a starting point, Max.

I haven't seen anything from you that presents Wiki's assertion that oil and natural gas are fossil fuels as counter factual.

Show me please, with references.

While discussion on this thread has focused on the spring water, commenters to Scott Learn's piece, identifying themselves as Cascade Locks residents, have expressed their dismay at the 24/7 truck traffic anticipated by Nestlé to cart the water from the slender town. It certainly seems that such traffic would profoundly alter life in Cascade Locks, not at all for the better. And this alteration would endure long after those who promote the degradation will have left the scene.

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