While we were fighting Nestlé’s in Michigan last year, we received some great news that we have yet to celebrate — you helped secure a win against Nestlé in Oregon!
Nestlé’s had plans to pump fresh water out of Cascade Locks, Oregon to bottle and sell for massive profits — but it fell through after a nine-year battle with local activists.
Bowing to the pressure of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, local residents, and thousands of SumOfUs members like you, Governor Kate Brown ordered state officials in October to stop an exchange of water rights that Nestlé needed to seal the deal.
It took major community power to stop Nestlé’s water grab, which would have had the brand drain some of Oregon’s cleanest water for only one cent per 40 gallons. Then, it would sell the same water back to the public for $2.63 per gallon — a literal steal.
It didn’t matter that Oregon was facing a devastating five-year drought: Nestlé’s plan was about profit and nothing more — never mind Native American treaty rights or local access to cheap, clean water. But community members and activists wouldn’t let Nestlé rob them without a fight. In May 2016, a massive voter outreach campaign passed a Hood River County measure to ban large water bottling operations like Nestlé’s plan.
Governor Brown’s notice is the result of years of local leadership and community activism. Which means this isn’t a victory just for Cascade Locks or Oregon — it’s a win for all communities defending their local water rights in the face of corporate greed.
Together, we showed big corporations like Nestlé that even small communities like Cascade Locks won’t bow to corporate profiteering. Now, Nestlé has closed its offices in Cascade Locks and will have to look elsewhere to practice their predatory business model. With your help, we’ll be ready to continue the fight wherever they end up next.
Thanks for all that you do,
Angus, Emma, Amelia and the team at SumOfUs