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Anne Elk
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PostWed Jun 12, 2019 4:45 pm 
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MtnGoat wrote:
...the issue I have here is I'm not seeing any evidence such a thing is happening in the case presented. The water rights don't appear to threaten the sustainability, and the idea that they may or could is a standard that can be applied to nearly anything...

That's true, but access to a sustainable water source in a community is so fundamental that it should be up to the community itself to decide.  The crux of the matter comes in the excellent link zimmertr provided about commercial bottling in Michigan:

Quote:
"We don't have the power to say no arbitrarily. We can't just say no for reasons that aren't attached to the law...The agency can't say no, Smith added, "even if the vast majority of the public wants them to."

This demonstrates the point made in the CELDF  materials I referenced in my previous comment: corporations have more civil rights than a community - even when it comes to issues fundamental to the community's survival and safety. And it's baked into laws that go back to the foundation documents of our government. Communities all over the country (many of them rural) are fighting right now for the right to protect themselves from dangerous activities they don't want in their communities: fracking, sludge dumping, etc.

One potential problem with this water bottling thing is that the community risks not being able to shut off the spigot to the commercial boys if it deems changing circumstances warrant it. The corporation will sue and a little town like Randle would be hard pressed to defend itself.  Would the state step in and take action?  Who knows? These days international trade agreements are trumping national sovereignty in deference to foreign corporate rights to make a profit. This isn't an irrelevant digression:

Did Canada buy an oil pipeline in fear of being sued by China?   From the article -

Quote:
... bilateral investment treaties... are frequently used by corporations around the world to challenge public policies or community decisions that interfere with their ability to make money. Since [NAFTA], Canada has paid out $160m to US corporations who challenged public decisions, including environmental policy.

It's accelerated with the Trans-Pacific Partnership: Another Corporation is Suing the US Gov't Thanks to Trade Agreements

Quote:
A Canadian corporation is suing the US because we wouldn’t let them build a pipeline across our country (seizing people’s property along the way) so they could sell oil to China. They can do this because we signed a trade agreement that places corporate rights above our democracy. The... TPP would increase by an order of magnitude the companies that can sue us for hurting their profits by protecting the environment, consumers, public health and small businesses.

MtnGoat wrote:
Let other folks decide for themselves wether they value the bottled water you're apparently very much against. They know more about why they want it than you do.

I would submit that they absolutely don't, for all the reasons Ski mentioned. But that's the history of effective marketing of junk - a sucker born every minute. I suppose it's their right - to be consumers of whatever they want.  Somewhere back in one of the links or other material I've been reading, it was mentioned that one consumer spent close to $400/yr on bottled water when the equivalent quantity that came out of her tap (which was perfectly fine) could be had for pennies.

The corporate purchase of water rights for bottling has become a rapidly increasing trend. "They" are taking a longer view than the average consumer, and likely, the average local government.  Those motivated by greed are usually one step ahead of the suckers. By the time water scarcity and the $ ability to make it potable becomes a spreading problem in the USA (and one could argue that it already has),  the resource will have already been "captured" by multinational corporations.  It's not a fantastical libertarian paranoia.  As I like to joke, when potable water becomes more of an issue than oil, the USA might have to invade Canada.  On the other hand, they may be dumb enough to sell it to us.  clown.gif

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Anne Elk
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PostWed Jun 12, 2019 5:35 pm 
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Related relevant news: Tacoma, WA, Group Files First Amendment SCOTUS Petition to Protect Local Ballot Access   From the article:
Quote:
The group, Save Tacoma Water, gathered signatures to secure a citizen vote process for all new large industrial water projects. Washington state courts removed their qualified citizen initiative from the ballot in 2016. The group argues this is a violation of First Amendment rights to political speech and to petition the government. Save Tacoma Water organized in 2016 in opposition to a proposed fossil fuel methanol plant in the city, which was projected to consume over 14 million gallons of water per day.


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Ski
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PostWed Jun 12, 2019 6:38 pm 
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Wikipedia entry for Nestle

Wikipedia wrote:
At the second World Water Forum in 2000, Nestlé and other corporations persuaded the World Water Council to change its statement so as to reduce access to drinking water from a "right" to a "need". Nestlé continues to take control of aquifers and bottle their water for profit.[130] Peter Brabeck-Letmathe later changed his statement.[131]

... scroll down just a bit farther down to Water bottling operations in California, Oregon and Michigan

Sure, it's all fine and well if you have no objections to a foreign-owned, multi-national corporation bludgeoning local citizens with their deep pockets and legal departments and dictating terms in what is supposedly a sovereign nation where local citizens are supposed to have a say-so in the way things are managed.

Or maybe it's okay to bury the planet with plastic drink bottles which are not being recycled - every time I drive down a local road, every time I see a trash can in front of Safeway or Home Depot or Ace Hardware or any other local retailer, every time I walk down a beach at Kalaloch or Long Beach, I'm seeing hundreds of plastic drink bottles which are not being recycled. (How many threads are there here in the Stewardship forum regarding plastics in the oceans?)

The problems being caused by the "bottled water" industry far outweigh the benefits to the public at large.

But hey, if the only thing that matters is that privately-owned businesses can continue to make a buck at the expense of the taxpayers and the environment, keep telling us how wonderful it all is.

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I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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Sculpin
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PostThu Jun 13, 2019 7:57 am 
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MtnGoat wrote:
The idea that something could threaten something else is not the same as actually harming the something else

But it is the core concept embodied by the word "stewardship."   rolleyes.gif

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MtnGoat
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PostThu Jun 13, 2019 10:15 am 
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Sculpin wrote:
But it is the core concept embodied by the word "stewardship."   rolleyes.gif

So you're telling us the concept of 'stewardship' is not preventing actual harm, but preventing potential harm?

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MtnGoat
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PostThu Jun 13, 2019 10:26 am 
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Ski wrote:
Wikipedia entry for Nestle

Ski wrote:
... scroll down just a bit farther down to Water bottling operations in California, Oregon and Michigan

Sure, it's all fine and well if you have no objections to a foreign-owned, multi-national corporation bludgeoning local citizens with their deep pockets and legal departments and dictating terms in what is supposedly a sovereign nation where local citizens are supposed to have a say-so in the way things are managed.

Or maybe it's okay to bury the planet with plastic drink bottles which are not being recycled - every time I drive down a local road, every time I see a trash can in front of Safeway or Home Depot or Ace Hardware or any other local retailer, every time I walk down a beach at Kalaloch or Long Beach, I'm seeing hundreds of plastic drink bottles which are not being recycled. (How many threads are there here in the Stewardship forum regarding plastics in the oceans?)

The problems being caused by the "bottled water" industry far outweigh the benefits to the public at large.

But hey, if the only thing that matters is that privately-owned businesses can continue to make a buck at the expense of the taxpayers and the environment, keep telling us how wonderful it all is.

They don't need to be recycled, only disposed of properly. Recycling causes more damage than it prevents, as shown by the fact that it's not even economically self sustaining.

I don't care who owns what, wether it's a local, national, or multinational. The problem is violating people's actual rights, not where someone is based. There is nothing in this issue in which local people are not having a say so via the processes already in place for electing their people in the county, etc.

They choose the people making these decisions, your gripe is that they didn't choose the way you want them to, thus you claim the misrepresentation.

This is a continual element of your arguments. You claim the 'community' as if it is unitary and on your side of the issue, when the fact is there is also 'community' which wants the plant and the buisness.

Then implications that the 'community' is misrepresented (in political terms, representation) because the ideals you want are not followed, without the corollary that if they are, the 'community' which wants the plant is misrepresented in the same manner.

You're claiming the bottlers make a buck at other's expense, even though they'll pay all the necessary taxes and fees like anyone else. At what point is private buisness acceptable to you? What unicorn buisness is OK, which doesn't have the potential to harm the environment? Are you applying the 'precautionary principle', a 'principle' which falsifies itself?

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Damian
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PostThu Jun 13, 2019 11:49 am 
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Guess I'm learning a few things from this thread. (forgive paraphrasing)


Bottled water manufacturers are responsible for bottles being littered and not recycled.

The primary figure of merit WRT recycling is whether it has shown to be economically sustainable.

Bottled water is no different than tap water, and consumers generally don't understand the value of this product better than you or I.

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Ski
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PostThu Jun 13, 2019 11:52 am 
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vox.com (link above) wrote:
Food & Water Watch reports that in 2016, 4 billion pounds of plastic was used for bottled water in the US

average maximum carrying capacity of a semi trailer = 80,000 pounds

4 billion pounds of plastic bottles = 50,000 semi trailer loads

that's just the bottles. that doesn't count the weight of the water.

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I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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MtnGoat
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PostThu Jun 13, 2019 1:21 pm 
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I'd never claim the figure of merit for recycling is merely economic, I claim the economics show it doesn't meet it's own figure of merit...reducing harm to the Earth.

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Anne Elk
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PostThu Jun 13, 2019 3:11 pm 
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MtnGoat wrote:
There is nothing in this issue in which local people are not having a say so via the processes already in place for electing their people in the county, etc. They choose the people making these decisions, your gripe is that they didn't choose the way you want them to, thus you claim the misrepresentation.

I don't think you're following some of the underlying issues. The major one involves the danger of treating a water supply as a commodity vs. a human right (as well as being critical to a local ecosystem). Then our water supplies become subject to public policy issues governing commerce, where it's been demonstrated that corporate priorities and contracts are taking precedence as a matter of law over the needs and wishes of a community.  So much for democracy.

Please review zimmertr's citation,  which include these points -

Quote:
In full transparency, the majority of the public comments were in opposition of the permit," Grether added, "but most of them related to issues of public policy which are not, and should not be, part of an administrative permit decision...Even with those [80K negative] comments taken into consideration, the Michigan agency was still bound to make its final determination on the legal merits of Nestlé's request.

"And that's the end of it," [the agency's source water supervisor] Matt Gamble, told Smith last month. "We don't have the power to say no arbitrarily. We can't just say no for reasons that aren't attached to the law."

The agency can't say no, Smith added, "even if the vast majority of the public wants them to."

More illustrations from Ski's citation re Nestle in Wikipedia:

Quote:
...a number of local citizen groups and environmental action committees have started to question the amount of water drawn in the light of the ongoing drought, and the restrictions that have been placed on residential water use... recent evidence suggests that representatives of the Forest Service failed to follow through on a review process for Nestlé's permit to draw water from the San Bernardino wells, which expired in 1988. In San Bernardino Nestlé pays the US Forest Service $524 yearly to pump and bottle about 30 million gallons, even during droughts. [my emphasis]

More from the Wikipedia article:
Quote:
Peter Gleick, a co-founder of the Pacific Institute, that has focused on water issues remarks, “Every gallon of water that is taken out of a natural system for bottled water is a gallon of water that doesn’t flow down a stream, that doesn’t support a natural ecosystem,” he says. “Our public agencies have dropped the ball,”

"Nestlé approaches water purely as a commodity. In 1994 Helmut Maucher, Nestlé's CEO commented, “Springs are like petroleum. You can always build a chocolate factory. But springs you have or you don’t have.” His successor, Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, was criticized when, in a 2005 documentary, he similarly promoted and rationalized the commodification of water, saying: “One perspective held by various NGOs—which I would call extreme—is that water should be declared a human right."

From some of the reaction re the additional plastic waste resulting from bottled water,  seems it's almost as controversial as global warming. Maybe the solution would be a return to glass bottling, weight notwithstanding.  Then the extra cost reflected in increased price would modulate consumer choices, and recycling might be profitable again too (remember when a glass bottle could get you a nickel?). There'd be less litter, too.

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Brian R
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PostFri Jun 14, 2019 12:09 am 
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Quote:
I don't think you're following some of the underlying issues. The major one involves the danger of treating a water supply as a commodity vs. a human right (as well as being critical to a local ecosystem). Then our water supplies become subject to public policy issues governing commerce, where it's been demonstrated that corporate priorities and contracts are taking precedence as a matter of law over the needs and wishes of a community.  So much for democracy.

Trite, that last bit. If you could better explain or illustrate what you mean above, it would read like more than rote. In short, I'd remind you that government's job is to regulate, not participate (military and post office notwithstanding). I'd also remind you that we don't live in a democracy, rather, a republican state wherein we are represented by those we elect on multiple levels. The US Congress--or, perhaps even Washington State----could deal with this water issue if they believed it to be a problem. EPA or the courts could step in if they believed an affront to "waters of the United States" was in play. They haven't, because there isn't.

Based on your posts here in aggregate, Anne, your complaint is clearly with capitalism itself and I believe MtnGoat is right when he accuses you of selective outrage. Capitalism is steered by our votes, albeit slowly. As it should be. It is subject to government regulation--strict, even. But not a "community" takeover (whatever that means).

Finally, I signed on here about a year ago to share trip reports, ideas, and, occasionally, stewardship thoughts related directly to trails, wilderness, and access. It appears the site moderators value green barkers more than experienced outdoorsmen and women willing to share their, well, experiences. Unfortunately, there is just too much noise here for me to remain.

See you on the trail!
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Damian
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PostFri Jun 14, 2019 12:30 am 
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Brian R wrote:
It appears the moderators here value green barkers more than experienced outdoorsmen and women willing to share their experiences. Unfortunately, there is just too much noise here for me to remain.

Brian- I appreciate your comments but I'm curious as to what action you believe the moderators should be taking on this thread.  Or what action they have taken that you don't like.  This site is overwhelmingly self governed with very little intervention by moderators and this thread seems pretty civil.  Given the stand you have expressed I'd be surprised if you'd really want a heavier hand by moderators.
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PostFri Jun 14, 2019 2:55 am 
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Brian seems to believe this isn't a legitimate topic for the stewardship forum. I think it illustrates the diversity of opinions here and latitude to discuss. We do ask people to make good faith efforts to limit spray in the stewardship forum.
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PostFri Jun 14, 2019 5:58 am 
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Brian R -

I cannot speak for Anne, nor will I even attempt to address her comments above, but:

I can assure you that I am capitalist through and through - I started punching a cash register in 1963 and ended my career in sales in 1997. I find what I do currently far less stressful - dealing with plants doesn't involve any office politics or percentage discounts or commissions. Be assured, therefore, that MY objection to the entire "bottled water" industry has absolutely nothing to do with capitalism, but rather what I view as an attempt to privatize what should be a publicly-owned and managed commodity: drinking water.

These companies tapping into aquifers are causing and/or contributing to problems related to water - of that I believe there is little question.

I think you will find that if you are here long enough you'll be able to see that the greater majority of activity here from the membership is in "Trail Talk" and "Trip Reports". Those participating in the "Stewardship" forum represent only a small minority of the overall membership.

BK

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treeswarper
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PostFri Jun 14, 2019 1:36 pm 
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Ski, that "extra" traffic on highway 12 is a drop in the bucket.  You need to take a drive when the veggie trucks are coming over from Yakima. 

That part of Hwy12 used to handle an awful amount of log trucks and chip trucks.  Chips had to go out--there was and is no railroad.  That traffic has been replaced by trucks avoiding the other mountain passes along with the veggies from Yakima.  People still drive it like it has a passing lane all along it, which it does not.  Don't know how many times I've been forced over onto the shoulder by an idiot.  That's usually cars and pickups doing that.   

My neighbor told me the history of my Randle well.  It was originally a fairly shallow well.  It was near a rock pit.   One day the rock pit shot some rock and the well dried up.  They drilled the well deeper and hit a good pocket of the water with typical sediment for that area.  It's been good since, 'cept for the brown stuff. 

Earthquakes change water levels also.  Nature does not hold still or stay put.   

I bought a bottle of water today to equalize the load on my bike.  I plan on drinking it.  Guess I could jam the empty into the wheel area of my bike as that would make a louder noise than using cards and clothespins.  Saw some kids pedaling around in a campground making a lot of noise using empty plastic water bottles.  They probably also had a campfire.

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