For the past seven years, the Story of Stuff Community has vigorously supported a campaign to end the removal of water for bottling from southern California’s drought-parched San Bernardino National Forest by Nestle Waters and its successor, BlueTriton Brands.

You’ve supported multiple legal fights, wrote elected officials, contacted stores who carry the product and funded the campaign, which has drawn global media attention.

Now, California’s Water Board is on the verge of approving a Cease & Desist Order against BlueTriton that would end its water theft once and for all, returning tens of millions of gallons of water annually to public control.

We’re gathering thousands of signatures in support of the Order to present to the Water Board later this month in advance of their July meeting and we need you to be one of them.

When we asked the Water Board to investigate Nestle’s questionable water rights claims in 2016, we didn’t know what to expect. The deep-pocketed company and its legion of lawyers had beaten us at almost every turn. But never underestimate the stick-to-it-iveness of local activists and the power of public opinion when they’re trained on a villain like Nestle.

Local resident and Story of Stuff Project ally Amanda Frye searched local archives, reviewed microfiche, gathered news articles and ultimately found the original notes of the surveyor who identified the springs that are the source of the water Nestle, now BlueTriton, and its predecessors have removed since the 1930s.

These records told a powerful story, of a company that for decades had hoodwinked regulators, taking water to which they had no lawful right.

Now, following nearly a year of evidentiary hearings in which the Story of Stuff Project and our local partners participated as intervenors, the Hearing Officer in the case has sent a draft Cease & Desist Order to the Water Board for its approval in July.

In short, the Hearing Officer found BlueTriton and its predecessors never had a right to the water they’ve bottle from the Arrowhead Springs and that the company must cease the removal of water once and for all.

We're on the verge of a big win. You can help get this historic order over the line by signing our letter to the Water Board. We’ll submit it by the public comment deadline, bringing thousands of voices into the boardroom in support of public water.

Winning this campaign would send a powerful signal that water is a life-giving, shared treasure, not a commodity to be traded and sold by private interests.

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for all you’ve done to get us to this point. I hope you share our excitement about this final chapter in our campaign to unbottle water. 

via - The Story of Stuff Project