A new bill in the Washington State legislature would stop bottled water companies from using up groundwater. Environmental activists criticize these companies for tapping and using up water resources for a pollution-causing bottle.

The bill, read for the first time in February 2020, would stop new permits that, “any use of water for the commercial production of bottled water is deemed to be detrimental to the public welfare and the public interest.” It was approved 28-20 in the Senate and now moves to the House.

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Similar bills have been introduced in Michigan and Maine to protest bottled water permits. Water giant Nestle made headlines in summer 2019 for a petition against its bottled water plant in Florida. Oregon lawmakers ended a deal with Nestle, citing environmental concerns.

Mary Grant, campaign director at the non-profit Food and Water Watch, said the legislation was “groundbreaking.” Her statement read, “This legislation would help protect the state’s water resources, helping keep the limited freshwater supplies in the state, for the public benefit and the public good. It would ban one of the worst corporate water abuses — the extraction of local water supplies in plastic bottles shipped out of watersheds and around the country. In this era of a deepening climate crisis that threatens our clean water resources, it is more important than ever to stop the damaging withdrawals of the bottled water industry. We urge all members of the State House of Representatives and Governor Jay Inslee to support this bill to protect Washington’s clean water as a common resource for the public wellbeing.”

The Bottled Water Association is against the legislation, saying environmental concerns are based on a “false premise.”

Sign this petition to stop Nestle from purchasing water permits.

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