Private Bottling Companies Water-Down Education to Boost Profits?
The best example of this is Project WET. This non-profit organization claims to educate children and parents about the importance of preserving global water resources. According to its website, "sustainable water management is crucial to secure social and economic stability, as well as a healthy environment."
That's certainly true. But Nestlé Waters North America, the organization's main sponsor, is the last entity that should be empowered to educate the public about responsible water use. When you consider the bottled water behemoth 's track record of hogging global water supplies and profiting from them, Project WET's supposed mission is a slap in the face to any community that has had its water muscled away by Nestlé.
By its own admission, Nestlé expends 2.37 gallons of water for every gallon of bottled water it produces. The company used approximately 4 billion gallons of water in 2007. That same year, it reduced the amount of water it used by 1.3 percent, but that was more than cancelled out as it increased the volume of bottled water it produced by 10 percent. Meanwhile, Nestlé buys community water for as little as $ .000081 per gallon, and sells it back to consumers for at least 127,000 times as much.
Pumping all that water comes at a steep price to consumers and the planet. U.S. bottled water consumption used energy equivalent to 32 to 54 million barrels of oil in 2007, enough to fuel approximately 1.5 million cars over the course of a year. Moreover, 77 percent of all empty plastic water bottles consumed in the United States end up in landfills.
And yet, Nestlé has the audacity to anoint itself a leader in water education.