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Government Sued For Letting Nestlé Bottle Water During Drought

Environmental groups allege that Nestlé has been illegally siphoning water from a fragile California forest for the past 27 years.

The US Forest Service is being sued for allowing Nestlé to bottle its Arrowhead water from a California national forest without a legal permit. Three different environmental groups—including the Center for Biological Diversity—allege that Nestlé’s permit to siphon more than 28 million gallons of water a year from Strawberry Creek in the San Bernardino National Forest expired in 1988. However, Nestlé claims that under Forest Service policy and regulations, its actions are legal while its permit renewal application pends approval—a process that has apparently taken 27 years. The company, which bottles 1.9 millions gallons of water a day from California (a state currently facing its worst drought in recorded history) pays only $524 a year to extract water from the forest, according to the plaintiffs.

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