FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, 20 May 2015
CONTACT: Brett Abrams : 516-841-1105 : brett@fitzgibbonmedia.com

PHOTOS:  Massive Protests in Los Angeles and Sacramento Demand an End to Water Bottling During California’s Drought

** LA PHOTOS: https://www.flickr.com/photos/132616837@N02/sets/72157653181050685 **
** SACRAMENTO PHOTOS: https://www.flickr.com/photos/132616837@N02/sets/72157653159511042  **

Hundreds of Californians from Orange County, Long Beach, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oakland, and Sacramento Unite to Save California’s Dwindling Water Supply

CALIFORNIA -- Earlier today, Californians from across the state, led by the California-based Courage Campaign, converged on two Nestlé bottling plants - one in Los Angeles and one in Sacramento - demanding that Nestlé halt its bottling operations during the state’s epic drought.

At the protests, in Los Angeles and Sacramento, activists delivered more than 500,000 signatures from people in California and around the country who signed onto a series of urgent petitions to Nestlé executives, Governor Brown, the California State Water Resources Control Board,  and the U.S. Forest Service urging an immediate shutdown of Nestlé’s bottling operations across the state.

The petitions were circulated by Courage Campaign, SumOfUs.org, CREDO, Corporate Accountability International, Avaaz, Food & Water Watch, Care2, Change.org and Daily Kos.

In LOS ANGELES, local activists and residents were joined by concerned residents from Orange County and Long Beach who took buses to protest outside Nestlé’s bottling plant at 1560 East 20th Street.  View photos from the Los Angeles protest here:  https://www.flickr.com/photos/132616837@N02/sets/72157653181050685

In SACRAMENTO, local activists and residents were joined by concerned residents from San Francisco and Oakland who took buses to protest outside Nestlé’s bottling plant at 8670 Younger Creek Drive.  View photos from the Sacramento protest here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/132616837@N02/sets/72157653159511042

Earlier this month, The Desert Sun reported that Nestlé was bottling water in desert and drought-stricken areas of California, and selling it for profit, all while its permit for water pipelines and wells in the San Bernardino National Forest lists 1988 as the year of expiration. Nestlé currently extracts water from at least a dozen natural springs in California specifically for its Arrowhead and Pure Life brands..

According to a recent poll, a majority of people in the U.S. believe Nestle should stop bottling in California. But, despite this clear and growing public outcry, when asked about the controversy, Nestlé CEO Tim Brown remarked that he wished the multinational corporation could bottle more water from the drought stricken land.

“With people across California doing their part to conserve water -- it’s time that Nestlé did the right thing and put people over profits -  by immediately halting their water bottling operations across the State,” explained Tim Molina, Strategic Campaign Organizer for the California-based Courage Campaign. “If Nestlé won’t do what’s right to protect California’s precious water supply, it is up to Governor Brown and the California Water Resource Control Boards to step in and stop this blatant misuse of water during our State’s epic drought.”

“As California's water supplies dry up, Nestlé continues to make millions selling bottled water and that’s outrageous!” explained Liz McDowell, campaigner for SumOfUs.org.  “We’ve stood up to Nestlé exploiting natural resources for profit in the past everywhere from Pakistan to Canada, and now the global community is speaking out before California runs completely dry.”

“Nestlé is profiteering at the expense of the public interest,” said Zack Malitz, Campaign Manager at CREDO Action. “In the midst of an historic drought with no end in sight, it is wildly irresponsible for Nestle to extract vast amounts of California’s water.”

Joe Baker, Care2’s Vice President of Advocacy and Editorial, said, "Care2 and its 30 million members are an online community standing together for good - and it is not good for the public to have Nestle bottling our water during an extreme drought in California. We’re asking Nestle to do the responsible thing for the public good, and stop bottling water in a drought-stricken area. Every single drop counts."

"For decades, Nestle has demonstrated a blatant disregard for local communities and the environment," said Erin Diaz, the campaign director at Corporate Accountability International's Think Outside the Bottle campaign. "In response to community concerns about its backdoor political dealings and environmental damage, Nestle has poured millions into PR and greenwashing campaigns. But Nestle's money can't wash away its abysmal track record, and Californians are demanding an end to Nestle's abusive practices."

“Families across the American West are already paying a steep price for mismanagement and scandalous selloffs of public resources. It's time for California, and Governor Brown, to set a strong example for conservation and responsive regulation. Tens of thousands of people across the country are tired of watching companies like Nestlé profit at the expense of taxpaying citizens,” said John Tye, Campaign Director, Avaaz.

“Bottling public water for private profit doesn’t make sense for communities and it doesn’t make sense for the environment,” said Sandra Lupien, Western Region Communications Manager at Food & Water Watch. “During a historic drought crisis, it is utter madness to allow corporations like Nestlé to suck our dwindling groundwater and sell it for thousands of times what it pays. Putting a halt to water bottling in California is a no-brainer and Governor Jerry Brown must stand up to protect Californians’ public resource.”

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CourageCampaign.org fights for a more progressive California and country. We are an online community powered by more than 900,000 members.

SumOfUs.org is a global movement of over 5.5 million consumers, investors, and workers all around the world, standing together to hold corporations accountable for their actions and forge a new, sustainable and just path for our global economy.

CREDO Action, part of CREDO Mobile, is a social change network of 3.7 million activists, sending millions of petition signatures and tens of thousands of phone calls to decision-makers each year. CREDO Action members also participate in meetings, protests and other direct action for progressive change.

Care2 (www.Care2.com) is a community of 28 million standing together for good. People are making world-changing impact with Care2, starting petitions and supporting each other’s campaigns to help individuals, animals and the environment. A pioneer of online advocacy since 1998, Care2 is a B Corporation, or social enterprise, using the power of business as a force for good.

Food & Water Watch works to ensure the food and water we consume is safe, accessible and sustainable. So we can all enjoy and trust in what we eat and drink, we help people take charge of where their food comes from, keep clean, affordable, public tap water flowing freely to our homes, protect the environmental quality of oceans, force government to do its job protecting citizens, and educate about the importance of keeping shared resources under public control. www.foodandwaterwatch.org

Corporate Accountability International’s Think Outside the Bottle Campaign challenges the misleading marketing of the bottled water industry, educates the public about the environmental and social impacts of bottled water, and galvanized support for public water. The initiative has partnered with states, city governments, and parks to phase out bottled water consumption and invest in tap water infrastructure. Visit ThinkOutsideTheBottle.org for more information.