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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Preying on the weak

Of course handing public water over to Nestlé sounds good to Cascade Locks. The place is starving. A casino would be fine with most of the unemployed workers, too. We're surprised that they aren't talking to the nuclear waste people.

Today Cascade Locks, tomorrow Bull Run. The Portland water system is mortgaged to the hilt, and the way things are going, Cascade Locks-style desperation in Portland isn't hard to foresee. The water bureau already has a catchy slogan and a luxury tour bus. Just switch the logo to this, and you'll never notice a difference:

Comments (25)

This close to the ocean on the Columbia - water extracted by Nestle in the single wettest location in Oregon is going to harm what?

This is nothing more than the usual anti-progress, anti-human, over the top enviro- fear mongering.

Can anyone really claim with a straight face they will be able to detect an effect on the environment with or without a Nestle bottling plant?

Would the enviro nazis be waging a hysterical campaign if the company name was Sam Adams Pretentious Over Priced Water?

Thank you for your wonderful rant. But we try to have a conversation here.

If corporations aspire to be persons, some have already acquired and manifest the qualities of sociopaths. Serial types, even. As for ODF&W, maybe it's time for Director Roy Elicker to start collecting his PERS after 20 years at the desk. And Cascade Locks? Hey, Gov. Kitz: do something positive for those folks besides cashing out a state trustee's stewardship of a natural resource.

Meanwhile, don't forget:

Doesn't take much of a tinfoil hat to see this gambit play out:
1. Burden the bureau with debt it could never dig out from under.
2. Jump ship to the "White Knights."
3. When they "rescue" the people you get your "rewards."

There have also been the rare firefighters who have set fires only to play the hero by saving the day after the deed. I'm jus' sayin'...

I wonder if Food and Water Watch would join folks from Cascade Locks if they decided to protest Widmer's use of 40 million gallons (in 2009) of Bull Run water?

A drop in the bucket compared to Carollo -- 300 million gallons a year, at steep-discount prices.

I really fail to see the issue here.

Go to any grocery store; there's all sorts of water products that require use of "public water".

Most every single power plant requires water. Except for wind. Even solar panel manufacturing requires a lot of water.

Every farm needs water. Much of the time they take it out of waters or the water table...use it for themselves and let it settle back plus some wonderful fertilizers along with it.

So Nestle wants to bottle water. They aren't the first company. They aren't the last. It isn't as if they are going to dam up the Columbia and let the river from Cascade Locks to Astoria go dry.

If bottled water is bad...then why not go after EVERY company that is taking "public" water and selling it? Why just Nestle? It's like blaming McDonald's squarely for every ill of fast food...but completely ignoring the dozens and dozens of other fast food joints out there. Or WalMart for cheap Chinese crap - but ignoring Target, Costco, Freddy's, IKEA, etc. all of whom buy the exact same Chinese crap.

They are taking a precious resource that is public. Water is no longer plentiful. It's needed by fish and wildlife as well as by people. And in case you haven't paid a Portland water bill lately, it's getting damn expensive. Once private industry gets hold of it, it will be like your cable bill, only worse. You won't die without cable.

If L.A. wants to sell them its water, no one in Oregon can stop them. But that doesn't make it right, and it doesn't mean we should do it, too.

I'd agree with you, Jack, if they were going to take over the water system. But they aren't. They're going to purchase water from the supplier, bottle it, and ship it.

They are not "taking a precious resource" - they are buying a supply. Much as you do when you flush your toilet. They just aren't sending it into the sewer systems.

Water is scarce.

This water belongs to the public of Oregon and the public of Cascade Locks. It should be used locally. It should not be shipped off in plastic bottles to make money for Coca-Cola.

When they do this at Bull Run, you'll be drinking recycled urine and the Willamette. Let Nestle have that, and let the fish and the Oregon public have the Cascade Locks water.

Not to mention the hideous environmental track record these people have.

Jack, so you don't think that Widmer should be shipping it's beer to other areas? What about NORPAC, should we stop them from shipping green beans to other states?

If you don't think this smells of water exploitation then think again.

Nestle' has probably finally ran into problems on the East Coast with dirty water and riparian water rights that cost a pretty penny to secure from private ownership.

Nestle has to pony up, regardless, they are a business they know that. It also makes sense to gauge your market and with Priority water rights in Oregon, they can find some hurting public domain that needs a capital injection. It is far less expensive alternative than shelling out for the riparian water right.
Here is were the Western United States historically has differed than other parts of the state. Water is truly a state owned resource, that means, you, me and every other resident has a say. The powers that be double talk that statement to death "public resource", but is has real connotation and hence real power to be enforced. Nestle has proven to NOT be a good steward, do they deserve the benefit of the doubt? Can we not a find a local bottle water producer, Earth2O?

Mortgaging your future for the present is tired old statement, but it fits the bill here.

Edit: other parts of the country, not state.

Somehow I find it hard to have any concerns about a company setting up a water bottling plant in one of the wettest and rainiest areas in the entire USA. And let's not forget that actual jobs in that area are scarce and hard to come by. If there are any real concerns, people in the Portland area should be screaming about the absurd water and sewer rates you folks are paying.

"If there are any real concerns, people in the Portland area should be screaming about the absurd water and sewer rates you folks are paying."

'Are you serious? Are you serious?'

Portlanders gladly pay their sewer & waters rates because of the value derived from that purchase.

Portland gets what Portland wants. Keep it Weird.

Water...the new oil

Jack, i'll never understand why you would mind selling a resource we have in abundance. reserve the right in contract to withdraw the sales rights if you ever run short...but this is a great opportunity if managed right (of course, i agree that government is terrible at managing things but with proper public oversight this can be guarded against)

Proper public oversight has been ignored in our area.

The water belongs to the public of Oregon.

I am opposed to extracting and exploiting this resource, however if the water were to be captured to be sold, then the public of Oregon ought to be the beneficiaries, and not a global corporation.

If the Bull Run ends up with added toxic chemicals then this corporation has a ready made market, is that the plan? Is that why our elected officials care not, they know they can buy the water from Nestle? On top of that what happens to the fish here, not the subject I am well versed in, but one thing does lead to another and we need to ask the question, of where this path may lead. Precedent may be set about allowing global interests here on our water, our elected officials should protect this resource for the people and future generations instead of allowing privatization.

And what happens when we go through a dry cycle for a couple of years?

Does Nes-Lie get the good stuff and we have to drink from radon/radioactive well water from the Columbia River?

And are they getting a cheaper rate that we are, the citizen/owners of the resource?

I believe it came out on the blog awhile back that the schools here were paying five times as much for water as this international corporation, second largest water user here is paying at their project down at the Columbia well fields.

Well what happens in twenty years as global warming kicks in big time and LA and Vegas are 140DG in the winter. They will demand our water , and this will be precedent. We will have to bid against them for OUR water.

Water is scarce

Umm, last I checked doesn't it rain a lot here???

There is some concern that the Cascade Locks well water that the ODFW is exchanging for their spring water may not be as good for the hatchery fish as the spring water is.Nestle will not locate in Cascade Locks if the ODFW will not transfer their spring water rights to Cascade Locks then Cascade Locks will sell the spring water to Nestle.Nestle doesn't want well water because then they can't claim it's bottled spring water if they use well water.

I think Portlanders (and beer lovers everywhere) derive much greater benefit from the Widmer Brothers water consumption than from Carollo's.

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