San Bernardino National Forest: Let’s Unbottle California

 

Redlands Area Democratic Club
Resolution on Nestlé Water Project

WHEREAS: The Nestlé Water Project initiated by the Forest Service under the guidelines of the National Environmental Policy Act is investigating the practicality of a limited 5-year permit to allow Nestlé to extract water from the San Bernardino Mountains using existing facilities. During this time Nestlé is required to perform studies about the effects of the extraction on the mountains, streams, vegetation and wildlife in the area. The reporting requirements and oversight procedures are intended to prevent damage to the mountains or its inhabitants.

WHEREAS: The State of California is undergoing a multi-year drought. The drought’s effects are unknown, but are expected to seriously affect all of our environment. The Governor has asked for voluntary reductions in use of non essential water by all residents and businesses in the State. In the year 2015 the goals of this conservation effort were not met, and the result of that failure is not yet known. Significant historical data has not been collected regarding the available water, its effects on the environment if undisturbed, nor the changes induced in the environment by its extraction.

WHEREAS: The residents of California, the County of San Bernardino and the San Bernardino mountain range should be considered first in the distribution of such a valuable resource as the water within its borders. These residents should also expect to be included in decision making that affects their daily lives, the environment that surrounds them, and their financial well being.

THEREFORE: Be it resolved that the Redlands Area Democratic Club asserts that the harvest of an increasing amount of water (28 million gallons in 2014 and 36 million gallons in 2015) is having an effect on our natural environment (including water tables and plant and wildlife) which is not currently being monitored; and

Be it further resolved that information should be collected regarding the changes caused by the cessation of extraction during varying times of the year, in the hopes of better understanding the changes in the water tables as a result of seasonal precipitation; and

Be it further resolved that placing Nestlé in charge of data collection is not wise or even a good business practice; that an impartial and distinct auditing agency should be involved, and the public should be able to observe and comment on the data being collected during the period of investigation; and that to maintain transparency, the data and comments should be available both via electronic media and at the Forest Service Supervisor’s Office in printed form; and

Be it further resolved that the Redlands Area Democratic Club considers the water beneath the San Bernardino Mountains surface a valuable resource; that the need to have wells to extract that water proves it is not excess to the natural condition of the water table; and that Nestlé should cease and desist extraction of water until all independent studies are complete and a full environmental impact statement has been published; and

Be it further resolved that in order to help assure that these actions are taken between the Forest Service and Nestlé, this resolution shall be forwarded to U.S. Senators Barbara Boxer and Diane Feinstein, Representatives Pete Aguilar and Paul Cook, Assembly Member Marc Steinorth, State Senator Mike Morrell, Governor Jerry Brown, and Attorney General Kamala Harris.

Unanimously approved in principle at a regular meeting of the Club on June 18, 2016, and referred to the RADC Board of Directors for editorial changes, which have been incorporated above

 

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