HomeEconomic IssuesNestlé Chairman: Water Not a Right, Should Be Given a ‘Market Value’ and Privatized

Nestlé Chairman: Water Not a Right, Should Be Given a ‘Market Value’ and Privatized

Hmmmm, we wonder why he would say that?   Nestlé’s 68-year-old former CEO and current Chairman, Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, says he wants to privatize the water supply because people have a sense of entitlement that causes them to waste copious amounts of water.  That all sounds well and good until you realize that, as the #1 seller of water in the world, 8% of Nestlé’s 2011 sales were from bottled water.

From The Guardian:

Activists accuse Nestlé, the leading seller of bottled water – which accounted for nearly 8% of its total 2011 sales of 83.6bn Swiss francs (£58bn) – of being more interested in lining its own pockets through a back-door privatisation of countries’ water supplies, than in saving the planet.

Last year, a documentary film, Bottled Life, accused Nestlé of extracting ground water for its bottled brands at the expense of local communities, often in poor countries. While the company refused to take part in the film, it did post online a rebuttal of the allegations.

Brabeck, in combative mood, responds that it is important to be less emotional and more analytical about the issues, although he acknowledges that pressure from civil society groups forced Nestlé to recognise that a company cannot create value for its shareholders if it doesn’t create value for society in parallel.

“The fact is they [activists] are talking first of all only about the smallest part of the water usage,” he says. “I am the first one to say water is a human right. This human right is the five litres of water we need for our daily hydration and the 25 litres we need for minimum hygiene.

“This amount of water is the primary responsibility of every government to make available to every citizen of this world, but this amount of water accounts for 1.5% of the total water which is for all human usage.

“Where I have an issue is that the 98.5% of the water we are using, which is for everything else, is not a human right and because we treat it as one, we are using it in an irresponsible manner, although it is the most precious resource we have. Why? Because we don’t want to give any value to this water. And we know very well that if something doesn’t have a value, it’s human behaviour that we use it in an irresponsible manner.

“If you look back to when I was born, there were 2.7 billion people and we were not even using 40% of the renewable water, but by seven billion we are already over-using it and if we are going to be up to 10 billion [people], we have to change our relationship with this resource.”

If the challenge of water scarcity is to be met, Brabeck says all players in society need to become more effective. Businesses that recognise the scale of the problem have to put pressure on others to act and the thousands of active NGOs need to start working together to create change, rather than each pushing their own particular agendas. Brabeck warns businesses not to hide behind a philanthropic agenda but to build water stewardship into the heart of their business strategies.

EDIT: Peter Brabeck-Letmathe is the former CEO of Nestlé, but is currently a Chairman.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The video has been removed.



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  • ohioanon

    He’s right, water isn’t a right, it’s a resource. I don’t care who dies of thirst as long as I get mine.

  • nascausa

    Then let’s defund the public school system. It is a complete disaster, they teach nothing relevant to the job market that 80% of the kids face. They cover up the truth about everything the slightest bit sensitive. They don’t teach critical thinking skills, so our people are left to decide which corrupt corporate news source is their favorite, Fox News or CNN.

    We will never return to a leading position in any field of study by allowing biased, bigoted, greedy scum decide what our kids learn and I mean NEVER. Look at our position in Math and Science and it’s a NO BRAINER to see we will be nothing but a war machine for the oil and banking scum in a few decades.

    Tell the truth and stop racism in the generation born today! “All people are created equal.” We are all just twisted into near insanity by worthless public school, politics, and mass media. Sorry teachers, it’s not all your fault, the administration is corrupt and your union doesn’t care about education, only collecting dues. The only hope public education has is when the smart teachers rise up and demand the truth be taught regardless of which political party or racial group might be embarrassed to admit they are selfish scum and prefer to keep the masses ignorant and divided against each other.

  • nascausa

    Never buying Nestle’s again. Water is for us to use and enjoy and the only reason we can’t is because corporations like Nestle’s create immense amounts of pollution in the process of producing their high profit, low quality products.

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  • shaun jones

    1. we already pay for water
    2. try making us pay more and see how quickly you are murdered by someone that cares about human rights

  • https://www.facebook.com/tim.christopher.52 Tim Christopher

    About 5 years ago, I was buying water labeled Zephyrhills (Florida spring water) at Costco because I had an immune system deficiency and I felt this water was safer than tap and tasted better. I was concerned about the plastic, but then recycling. That was until I got ahold of a case that tasted moldy. Nestles sent a water test kit which I sent back and later received a letter confirming the presence of mold. That was it. I’m not convinced the water even came from Zephyrhills. Sellers can claim anything they want about the water source, I’ve learned. After that I switched to a water filtration system and haven’t purchased bottled water since.

  • Brenton Bowen

    If you read his whole interview part of what he is saying actually makes some sense. He’s saying that it’s a human right for everyone to have access to the water needed to sustain life, which amounts to about 1.5% of total water usage. And that because humans feel entitled to water we tend to waste a dwindling resource.

    I actually don’t disagree with that part of his argument. I think that overuse of water should be charged for. Water should not be privatized it should be taxed. If these oil companies are going to use up huge amounts of water then they should be forced to pay for it. Where the whole idea goes down the toilet is that the people who should “own” the water end up paying for it while the companies find a way to subsidize their waste. It’s like most things American, great in theory and someone finds a way to screw it all up.

  • Bob6DaBeast

    Some people deserve to be shot..

    • shaun jones

      cannot agree more

    • ohioanon

      I agree, people who think they deserve things they don’t pay for deserve two to the chest and one to the head.

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  • Read More

    I am already charged for water based on how much I use by having metered water. Privatization of water by putting corporations in charge would be a horrendous nightmare for all. Vote blue.

  • colleen2

    water and access to water is a survival issue for every living thing on the planet. Will these men be trying to sell us sunlight too?

    • Middik

      No…air is the next commodity.

    • Brenton Bowen

      He’s actually saying that it’s a human right to have access to the water you need to survive. He’s saying that the other 98.5% of water usage is waste and should be charged for. It should not be privatised but it shouldn’t be considered a right to have access to water and then waste it.

      • colleen2

        I am quite certain that is not what he is “actually” saying.

        • Brenton Bowen

          He does literally say it’s a human right here:

          “I am the first one to say water is a human right. This human right is the five litres of water we need for our daily hydration and the 25 litres we need for minimum hygiene.”

        • Brenton Bowen

          But he is dead wrong about the solution for water waste. It shouldn’t be a business that decides the cost of extra water usage. It should be the people and the people should directly benefit from the money generated by the revenue.

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  • http://gravatar.com/cybervigilante Jim Mooney

    The first big company to scheme to privatize global water was, ta-da, Enron. Thankfully they crashed and burned but Nestle has even more bribe money – and pols are hot to “privatize” everything since it means more money in their vile pockets.

  • wheldon rumproast

    Whatever they can do to make themselves more money (at the expense of everyone else). Case-in-point that greed has no limits…

    • David

      I work for Nestle Waters. They have no respect for frontline workers and treat them like farm animals. As for them supporting Obama, you are so wrong. They give so much money to right wing candidates.

      • HavingmysayinMe

        My husband worked for Nestle for 14 years. He stuck it out for our family so our kids would have insurance and he could make a decent wage. All while being treated like crap, constantly being threatened with termination, being rudely and angrily questioned by supervisors who had gone to college, but had no actual experience running these million dollar machines, about why production numbers were slow. My husband worked extremely hard, was the one they called when they needed coverage, and he cross trained to learn almost 1/3 of the jobs in his plant. His nickname was ” the rock”. When the recession hit, they cut back personnel from the plant, not management, and expected the lines to run at optimum speed. As you know, they were all expected to do the jobs of 3 people. My husband became depressed and despondent. When he ended his shift, he was so tired he napped in the car before driving home. We decided that enough was enough. Cashed out the 401k and went from there. He works for a cleaning co. now for $8.00 less per hour and no benefits, but he has returned to his old self. I am grateful for the living he earned, but it came with a high price. Best wishes to you and anyone else who is on the line, taking the bull. Don’t let it ruin your life.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/torisamericandoll Kris

    I say we privatize the air! LOL

  • http://www.facebook.com/buddy.dubay.1 Buddy Dubay

    To heck with this guy. I will never buy another Nestle product.

    • Simone Sanner

      You and me both, Buddy. Their chocolate sort of smells like… poo, and I’d rather get gourmet and enjoy it more anyway.

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  • B

    With any luck, improvements in solar technology and developments in solar distillation will completely eliminate any water shortage debate’s legitimacy… There’s an abundance of energy and improving technology, which is getting much much cheaper at a ridiculous rate if you look at solar at least.

    The easiest solution to the water problem would be to modify the concept of concentrated solar, which uses mirrors to direct heat to a heat-absorbent tube of a fluid. One particular type uses water, which heats up and can easily be used to turn a steam turbine.

    Why not use that kind of solar water heating concept to A) power pumps to suck up ocean water and B) distill/boil said water. Perhaps process the gained sea salt as a resource while you’re at it (remove the mercury and other toxic components).

    Could probably use tidal power to distill ocean water too. Wouldn’t that be convenient? And where does all the water we use go? Certainly not into space… Into the ground, into the air to be rained down again, wherever it goes it ends up in the cycle again.

    So the only thing between us and true water abundance is the money that separates us from taking advantage of technological advances, and the government that is controlled by that money. Hopefully the technology will get so cheap that people can afford to start these kinds of projects without being rich corporations, and hopefully they won’t be stopped in their tracks…

    Meh, let’s see if the world collapses! :P I couldn’t care much less what happens at this point but it would be nice if we have a hope as a species.

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  • Mary Ellen

    So… does this mean he is an ANTI-FRACKING ACTIVIST? I mean, fracking is the BIGGEST threat to our fresh water supply. It uses enormous amounts of our limited fresh water. Maybe he likes the idea that the resulting scarcity will increase his bottom line! If he meant anything he said, he would be putting a TON of money into the anti-fracking movement and also have the guts to put his name and face out there. The hypocrisy is amazing. Though the conservation of water is important, to imply the solution is for him to decide he OWNS the water and we must buy it is insane. But it’s the next battle-front. Watch “Blue Gold: Water Wars”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RjOn2THsQZg

    • http://www.facebook.com/torisamericandoll Kris

      Excellent point, Mary!

    • Frank

      Great point thanks mary.

    • Barton

      He does mention the greatly increased amount of water needed to get oil compared to tradition methods in the Guardian article. Though he doesn’t talk about pollution through fracking itself.

      • ClydeMcWhorter

        Look at the polution the plastic water bottles cause.

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  • Shaking head

    Why does anyone assume there is some automatic right to privatize everything? What gives any particular entity the right to access scarce resources, or any at all? I say NOTHING does. It is like giving them an automatic right to profit, and what did they ever do, or could they ever do to deserve that? Being rich does not make you entitled to community or private citizen’s resources so you can monopolize and manipulate and control an entire market. Yes, the best thing to do when there is a problem with a resource is to give it free or low cost to someone looking to make a profit from it so only they then benefit from it, and make it even more scarce and more unavailable, except via a huge profit for a monopoly. That was sarcasm. I will never buy nestle again. It has worked real well to give the big “fed” banks almost free money and let them turn around and sell it back to the government for more, and lend it to citizens at usury rates, like 28%. Then we had to bail them out, and the economy tanked. Great idea. Same basic thing. You can not have public and scarce resources controlled by one or a few FOR Profit entities. It’s an evil motive.

    • Bendio

      Because we’ve created a consumer-driven economy in the United States where corporations are treated as nobility. That’s why.

    • HavingmysayinMe

      Nestle owns almost everything. Why not this too? Not!

  • Brenda Hagman

    The CEO of Nestle’s won’t have to worry about me because I will not be buying any of his company’s products from now on. The only thing people like him understands is the profit line. Well if enough people stop buying Nestle’s he may get the drift.

    • Kate

      I agree with all of you it was only a matter of time for this to be an issue !!! Given we can use water in other areas to further our technology THEY are realy scared that we will start building/creating our own energy sources, so before we do and there are plenty of people showing us how on internet! Theyre going to stop us !!! Have you all checked out the amount of products NESTLE sell worth looking at if you dont want to buy their products !!

    • RIbluebird

      Look up what Nestlé’s own. You might starve to death. Plus DO NOT BUY BOTTLE WATER.

      • shaun jones

        what idiot buys bottled water anyway, when it is NOT any more good for you than tap water in 90% of countries…

        • RIbluebird

          There are many idiots in this country that buys bottle water, just take a walk down the isle in the supermarket and see how many that buy bottle water. I just look at them and tell them to buy a Brita filter. I know there are places that water has been contaminated, but you can still buy a Brita.


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  • CS

    Nestlé Chairman: Water Not a Right, Should Be Given a ‘Market Value’ and Privatized.

    Quote from article:
    “I am the first one to say water is a human right”

    Water scarcity is a real problem. Real problems require thoughtful analysis. Therefore, misdirection and misinformation contribute to real problems.

    • AATTP

      Yes, they sure know hoe to say the right things to make you believe conservation is their goal when in reality it’s profits they’re after. If we were spreading disinformation, why would we have even linked to that quote? Doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

      • cs

        They didn’t make me believe anything. The headline is misleading, the quote does not make it less so. Your motives are not relevant.

      • Simone Sanner

        Nestle has been determined to privatize water and have everyone drinking from bottles for the last couple of years. This is not the first time a Nestle exec has said something along these lines. What would be interesting is to see what they’ve contributed to the ‘charity’ known as ALEC, and who is voting in favor of de-regulating water quality laws.

        • HavingmysayinMe

          It’s been a lot longer than that.


  • Ben

    From The Guardian: “Unconventional oil is also a disaster waiting to happen, he says, given that it uses up to six litres of water to produce one litre of oil, in contrast to 0.1 litre for conventional oil.”

    I wonder if the fact that he’s on the Board of Directors at ExxonMobil has anything to do with such an assertion.


    Incidentally, he’s also the chairman of the board for Formula One racing’s commercial rights holder.


    And here’s a good read for those who might be interested in Nestle’s relentless pursuit of water to sell. They have a pretty nasty habit of underestimating the environmental impact on the streams they pillage.


    Brabeck is nothing more than a salesman looking for a profit. In fact, that’s literally how he started at Nestle. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Brabeck-Letmathe) Why his views on water conservation are taken seriously by anyone is beyond me.

  • tish holbrook

    who’s surprised? Years ago Nestle got babies dependent on formula, then took away the promotional free formula and babies starved.
    Those are evil actions. That is a company without ethics.

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  • Michelle Buscher

    Monsanto is taking our food, Nestlé is after out water. Who will get our air? It is not about profit, it is about control.

    • Dude

      Control over what, exactly?

      Do you actually understand the international water supply infrastructure, or are you assuming that bottled water accounts for more than a fraction of the world’s water usage?

      It is almost certainly about profit, but there are some valid points raised. Water is being wasted, and that waste should be curtailed.

      Will it be curtailed by privatization and being given a market value? Fuck to the no.

      A better sounding method that comes to mind would be introducing a tiered water payment structure after using around 80% of the median monthly water usage in that area. Just increase it regularly at intervals of 80%, and the very disgustingly wealthy will be punished with very heavy costs for their wasteful use of water. It will also hit golf clubs and stadiums much harder than small offices and individual homes.

      It’s an elegant, logical way to level the playing field, while also answering a very genuine problem with our water use. Considering that due to climate change, more and more clean water is spending its time in a vapor state, the amount of readily available drinkable water is shrinking slowly, and the rate will likely increase as the average global temperature increases.

      But if this is about control of any kind, it’s about control of the profits. I doubt the CEO of Nestle’s perceived political power goes as far as it does in the minds of stoners who rely on cheap Nestle knockoff products for easy munchies.

      • Elizabeth

        (Like, +) Carbon credits will. The market in Britain is ready for your carbon credits – don’t plant trees, worry about Monsanto and Nestle; there is already a market for your brown coal and dirty fossil fuels – trade them off against others’ ignorance and misfortune. There’s a privatized water supply in Australia. It has helped to regulate water but it’s state-governed and protected by the Constitution. You can still buy bottled water from Coca-Cola but you’re looking at being forbidden to recycle here atm! Weird world of corporate corner-cutting.

      • http://wiseoldsnail.org wiseoldsnail

        wow. this response is pure bs … accusing someone of being high to contradict their opinion. how grown up of you.

        if you haven’t yet learned that corporations are in control of u.s. government and governments all over the world, don’t take it out on those of us who know the truth. this has everything to do with controlling people … and yes, for profit. and why, oh why does any person or company need these obscene profits? they don’t. he’s a greedy f**k … and not only greedy for more money (which he can never possibly spend), but for power. nobody would be simultaneously on the boards of nestle and exxonmobile for any other reason than quest for power … as more money is useless after a point. the only thing is brings, once a person can afford everything, is power over others.

      • Kate

        ‘DUDE’ is clearly deluded in his understanding of whats occuring here !!! Watch the programme mentioned above all about how Nestle do business !!! Also read what ‘wiseoldowl’ wrote hes spot on !!! Wake up !!!

  • A redditor

    Never buying another nestle product again, ever. And I’ll be convincing everybody I know to do the same. How you like those apples you greedy f**k?

    • Dude

      That’ll teach them. I’m sure they will notice how A redditor stopped buying their products and immediately cease all evildoings out of fear.

      You want to stop them, speak the only language they understand: competition.

      • Elizabeth


      • PG

        The only language they understand is competition? No. And the notion that the great masses can influence corporations for the good with “competition” is a falsehood. The only language they understand is profit, and we are left with having to construct against all odds a system where immoral actions are also unprofitable….when the opposite is usually true.

  • tbirdszz

    Save the world dont take a bath

  • tbirdszz

    No wonder the French only take a bath once a month

    • JohnnyBoy

      French, really? He is Austrian and Nestle is Swiss.

  • screamingqueen

    Apparently this man believes municipal water is free. It is not free. The resources for collecting, storing, purifying, and distributing it are publicly owned and paid for through our property taxes. We also pay for the water we use. In my municipality, as in many others, the rate increases with increased usage, so that we do already (1) pay more for “wasteful” use of water and (2) have a financial disincentive to wasting it. But because none of this puts money in HIS pocket, he thinks we need to get private enterprise involved.

    • http://www.facebook.com/michael.killian.357 Michael Killian

      I for one will not buy anything from Nestle, after hearing this absurd declaration of water is not entitled to as a right. This guy has lost his marbles. All those billions have gone to his head. Let him be the only human on this planet and all the water is nonexistent, see weather his billions keep him alive then. What an arrogance he shows.

    • Justin

      Exactly what I was thinking. I pay for the water that comes through my pipes and I pay for bottled water. I just don’t pay him.

  • John Klein

    Two points: first, by what right does he make such a declaration that water is a commodity to which people are not entitled to as a right? That is to say why can’t NGOs or governments, or any other individual, make an exact opposite claim and carry the same legitimacy?

    Second, is Nestles prepared to purchase and acquire water at a fair market price which would be set by some other mechanism, presumably NGOs or government or individuals. Again, that is to say if water is a commodity with a value then certainly Nestles will need to pay the full market value to acquire the water it sells.

    Add-on question: why does a 0.5 litre bottle of water in Thailand cost =$0.25 US (7 tbt), but in the US, the same bottle of water costs $1.00US?

  • Jaxon

    Why is this man allowed to continue to live in civilized society? What is wrong with the people around him that allow him to continue to hold such antisocial beliefs.

    A true sociopath.

    • http://wiseoldsnail.org wiseoldsnail

      good question. sociopath is the right description : narcissist … who believes the world needs him and needs nestle.

  • Dave Lister

    In most places, there’s absolutely no reason to BUY water. Your tap water is good enough. There’s nothing in it (including the taste) that an inexpensive water filter can’t take care of.

    Selling water is the ultimate scam.

    • ryan

      Tap water isn’t free? At least not where I live.

    • Charlie

      Your comment just proved this guy’s point. And you will remain clueless.

  • Priscilla Green

    I remember the good old days, when there was little or no charge for water. Water is a necessity for life, and should be made available to anyone in need. What is wrong with the world today is privitization. There is too much of it , and because of man’s appetite for GREED, it is completely out of control. Shame on you Nestles, you need a new CEO, the one you have now,is not a good thing for your company, I believe you will see some backlash for this one.

    • Norman Balint

      If you think the government should run everything you only need to look at places like China and North Korea and see how well it works for their citizens. Government should supply basic services such as public safety only. Nothing is free, someone has to work and pay taxes for all these “free” government services.

      • Alex

        oh yes, because North Koren citizens are SO HAPPY. Oppressive and dictatorial governemnts are destined to fail and they don’t “work”. People oblige and live in fear, which is not a suitable way to run anything

      • http://wiseoldsnail.org wiseoldsnail

        government services aren’t free. in case you haven’t noticed, we do PAY for government services and management of basic necessities by PAYING TAXES. this little tidbit of information completely nullifies your opinion. are you unaware that every person who purchases anything at all pays taxes?

        also, using scare tactics like dictatorships, etc, to qualify your opinion about social services we provide for ourselves, by paying taxes, is childish and basically dumb. there is no comparison between the actions of a dictatorship and the services we can provide by operating under a collective vision of providing basic services to everyone. social welfare programs are more important than public safety, as poverty is the leading cause of low level ‘crime.’

        and then there is corporate crime : pollution, delivering toxins labeled as consumable food and beverage … too bad our tax dollars aren’t used to prosecute these crimes against us. this is the evidence that corporations own the government.

        • http://www.facebook.com/michael.killian.357 Michael Killian

          Well said!! Point well taken.

  • Cathleen Crossan

    People like Peter Brabeck-Letmathe are the reason, the world economy is in such bad shape. I would love to get a transcript of his “pontificating” and then I can address and correct each one of his distortions in thinking. I jotted down some of his words, and I can’t believe he doesn’t see the narrow mindedness of his views. You’ll notice he is sitting smugly in his executive suite wearing a tailored suit that probably costs more than some people’s yearly salary. Next he begins by tallying off how large and wealthy a conglomerate Nestle has become (as if assuming everyone thinks that is a good thing). Look at what he says and think about it, (‘4.5 million who are directly dependent on us; we’ve got to create a positive image of the world for people; we’ve never had it so good, we’ve never had so much money, we have everything we want’). These are just a small sampling of his distorted and self-serving thinking. I can see why having millions of people “dependent” on Nestle would suit his purposes. I can see why Nestle wants to create a positive “image” to the buying public. Image by the way is different from reality. I can see that in order to support his lifestyle, money is the most important thing to him. But as we all really know, money does not buy happiness. I’m sorry, but he comes off as shallow, manipulative, and ignorant. Not qualities I would want in a CEO. No way would I or my family buy any Nestle products again. Why support such small-minded, greedy corporations when there are many small, private companies that need my support. No wonder he despises the ‘organic’ movement so much. They may be small and insignificant to him, but they are his competitors…

  • Craig LaForte

    If you want to come to may house and try and stop the river running in my yard and tell me I have no right to it, you will be shot if you are on my land.

    • Yazir Haseebb


    • David

      @ Craig

      They don’t need to set foot on your land. They’ll just use ’eminent domain’ to acquire land 20 miles upstream and then dam up the river. Think it can’t happen? Do a Google search on ’eminent domain’ & ‘water supply.’

      • http://facebook sotamis

        OK, explain to me where the meter will be for every time it rains.

  • F.Parker

    Well lets see if we can put them on the bottom of the list, then see how they feel!!
    Arrogant yeaholes!

  • Lynn

    Nestle is working with my ex who’s a water engineer. PROFIT is the only thing they think about. I NEVER buy Nestle or Poland Spring water, as they are “in bed” together for profit only. Buy Dasani or any other brand – BAN NESTLE AND POLAND SPRING!!!

  • Nicole.

    In Australia, we already have campaigns about water wastage, we have water restrictions and we also pay for our excess water. I’m guessing America needs to play catch up in this?

    • Bill

      Why do you assume their is an American problem? All the things you mentioned – done.

      • Bill


  • brother

    Problem with your argument THECHURCHSTATEGUY <- interesting name by the way, especially the suggestions behind it, is your idea of EXCESS water. It basically assumes that some water is not meant to be used by regular people. If we accept the idea of EXCESS water, and how we should manage it better, then how long before EXCESS becomes ALL water? Plus who has the right to designate water as being EXCESS and NECESSARY. The whole idea behind this, is that some people know how to use that water better then the rest of humanity. That these people should have the right to profit off the use of that water and not give it away freely. Simply put THECHURCHSTATEGUY, I think you missed the point here. He is not talking about managing the water better as much as wanting to profit off of what he sees as an unused resource. The so-called "EXCESS" water. If he, his company, and many others, are allowed to do that, then you can be assured sometime in the near future they would move from just the "EXCESS" water into "ALL" water. That they will go into villages, cities, everywhere humans are, and start charging them for their water usage.

    Doubt me, here's a scenario for you: Nestle sets up a water bottling plant somewhere in Northern Africa. They drill down, tap the local ground water supply, filter it, and start bottling the water. Under this scenario, this company claims rights to that water supply because they are the ones bringing it up to the surface. (This is the same concept as oil drillers/plants) After that they see a local village accessing the same water supply. Before long they see lost profits with the village drinking from that water. That the water those villagers drink could have been bottled and sold. Because it wasn't, the company lost profit from that water usage. With that lost profit in mind, they rush into the town, destroy all their access to the water (where by actually destroying the wells or by suing and winning in a rigged court.), then they turn around and sell back the water to the villagers which they had been getting for free earlier.

    If that sounds outlandish, its not. Companies have been doing that all over Africa for hundreds of years now. You name the profitable commodity, whether its gold, oil, diamonds, etc, and someone did that very same thing. (I.E. DeBeers, every major oil company you can name, etc.)

    So no this is not about EXCESS water, its purely about profit.

    • Timothy Ven

      This was already done during the time of the cattle barons in the US. They would dam up free running water to prevent their neighbors from having access to water. Especially if they were looking to increase their land holdings and their neighbors refused to sell

  • Randym

    Just another criminal CEO fascist looking to distroy the lives of the many for his own greed

  • http://www.thechurchstateguy.com thechurchstateguy

    The title of this article is misleading. He’s not wrong about the irresponsibility, or the fact that monetizing EXCESS water would drastically change the way we use it, or that if we don’t change our habits now we will be forced in really uncomfortable ways to change our habits when fresh becomes a scarcity. Does he have the RIGHT answer, maybe not. But generalizing his position as only about profitizing is inaccurate and not productive to a better conversation about conservation or earth stewardship.

    • paincake

      Congratulations. You’re the only commenter here that read past the title.

      • http://www.thechurchstateguy.com thechurchstateguy

        Thanks! I try.

      • PG

        No….a bunch of us read past the title, and the part where he indicates that he “thinks” water is a human right (including the exact amounts). You’re wrong that the headline is “misleading” because this CEO (and one of a company with a notorious history when it comes to baby formula in Africa, no?) is talking about this “human right” strictly from a “market” perspective, and that of someone who has to make quarterly earnings and whatnot.

        The very nature of the solution to a real problem that he is talking about has been shown to be the most likely to become corrupt and abused for the almighty profit motive. It’s one thing when the profit motive drives soda, designer jeans, or fancy cars….things that one can live without. It’s another to use the same construct on the most essential element of life.

    • Randym

      What EXCESS water??? This world is faced with massive droughts due to Global Weirding from the massive polution problem! Get a clue

      • http://wiseoldsnail.org wiseoldsnail

        in his estimation, increasing incidence of diabetes, allergies, etc have nothing to do with the toxins in the food supply, air, and water. he also discounts the many of us who know better than to agree that food should be considered a commodity in a capitalist market. he seems to be completely unaware that neither water nor food should be privatized, and that the only thing which can reasonably be privatized is the labor used to extract and deliver water, and to grow and deliver food.

        unfortunately, this man also believes that those of us who choose to grow our own food should not have the water to do so.

        also, putting water into plastic bottles is the least efficient method of water delivery :::

        as for his calculations re: how much water used to bottle a bottle of water :::
        ‘a bottle that holds 1 liter requires 5 liters of water in its manufacturing process (this includes power plant cooling water).’

        at least he admits that his number one goal is profit for the company. what he doesn’t seem to realize is the absolute lack of necessity of the continued operation of his company. we, as people, in no uncertain terms to no actually need one single product produced by nestle.

        ‘we’ve never had it so good. we’ve never had so much money.’ this comment by him actually makes me feel sick. this man is completely unaware of the real state of the world, of how many people are living in poverty, with ‘managed’ dis ease from environmental toxins, etc. many of us living that way as a direct result of privatization, of unfettered destruction and pollution of environment by companies like his. the very fact of the oil extraction needed to provide the packaging for nestle products is obscene … the destruction of environment to accomplish that harvesting of oil has laid wasted to whole ecosystems around the world … in places where people were self sufficient, they now have poisoned water, air, and land thanks to oil extraction.

        everything about this man reeks of narcissism. he actually seems to believe that the world cannot live with him/without nestle. the world would be a much better place without nestle, big oil, coca cola, etc.

        does anyone think we need packaged ‘nescafe’ ? even for those of us who love coffee, why on earth would we choose that packaged crap over whole, freshly harvested and roasted organic coffee beans?

    • hate Nestle

      One of my biggest problems with this is the person making the statement. Maybe if this “challenge of water scarcity” was brought up by someone other than a money-grubbing capitalist, it’d be heard with more positive reaction. This is NOT the correct spokesperson for this topic. Nestle has proven to be anti-altruistic in it’s business practices. There is no reason to believe that he is not bringing up this subject as another avenue for his corrupt company to make more money off people in a 3rd world country. In places like Africa where water is scarce, I can’t believe that there is actually a whole lot of waste going on. His proposals would severely limit the availability of water for livestock and farming. The areas of this planet that need to take a real look at water usage are developed nations with insanely high populations (i.e. China and India) or insanely high usage (i.e. United States). China has so many people that they actually buy water from other countries and ship it across the planet.
      A better discussion would be to talk about what we can legitimately do to limit the insane increase in population that this planet is facing. Resources of all types can only be stretched so far. We are already facing the reality that food is being genetically modified to produce more stable crops. We have no idea what the result of this is going to be in the long run.

      • AATTP


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