San Bernardino, CA — Fifty student leaders with the Sierra Club’s youth chapter gathered outside the Nestle Bottling Facility in Cabazon, CA today to protest the company’s privatization of public water resources. They awarded Nestle with a “#1 Water Thief Award” in a mock recognition ceremony, noting that the company has been diverting water from national forests using an expired permit.
“Nestle doesn’t have a right to claim that this water is theirs to profit off of. Water should be a human right, not something that international corporations can exploit from our communities,” said Sam Rodriguez, youth leader with the Sierra Student Coalition from San Bernardino.
Nestle has withdrawn 62.6 million gallons of water per year for the past 68 years for bottling, all from public sources. While California remains in a historic drought and local residents face mandatory water restrictions, Nestle continues to divert publicly-owned resources. Sierra Club youth activists cited corporate privatization and climate change as factors that have exacerbated ongoing water shortages in California and around the world.
“Nestle is taking water from our communities and then trying to sell it back to us for profit, while also worsening environmental degradation with plastic water bottles and packaging, and a pipeline that goes through the forest,” said Erika Ruiz, San Bernardino resident and youth leader with the Sierra Student Coalition. “It’s a danger to our generation’s future and an insult to our communities.”
More information and petition language at sc.org/Nestle
Live video and photos at facebook.com/SierraStudent