US Geological Survey begins monitoring Nestle water withdrawals in Osceola County

May 13, 2019

Federal Geologists are in Osceola County to monitor water levels that could be affected by Nestle’s water withdrawals. A move that environmental groups say should have happened months ago.


UPDATED with Nestle statement: 

Attributable to Ice Mountain Natural Resource Manager Arlene Anderson-Vincent

 “Nestlé Waters North America requested that the USGS monitor surface water and groundwater near a NWNA spring site in Michigan. The USGS monitoring near the White Pine Springs site is not part of the conditions of the permit application to increase NWNA’s water withdrawal capacity at the White Pine Springs site, which was approved last year by the EGLE.

 “Water sources need to be managed for the long term. We regularly monitor at multiple locations near our spring sources – including groundwater levels, precipitation, stream flows and levels as well as wetlands, and use this data to help ensure that our withdrawals are sustainable and preserve a healthy ecosystem where we operate.

 “We have made a long-term investment in Michigan, and we take great care to operate in a responsible and sustainable way that helps preserve and protect our shared water resources for future generations.” 

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The U.S. Geological Survey has begun monitoring water levels at Nestle’s wells in Osceola Township. Nestle said in a press release they requested that the USGS come in to understand long-term water availability and environmental uses.

 

Some environmental groups say Nestle is simply doing something they should have done a long time ago.

 

Peggy Case is the president of Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation, one of the groups concerned with Nestle’s pumping, and with, what has been until now, its self monitoring.

 

“We are hoping that bringing in the USGS will provide a much more advanced and much more independent monitoring system then they have had so far. Nestle has no choice they have to set up a different system because the one they are using is really flawed.”

 

Case said Nestle’s does not currently monitor the headwaters of the local rivers, which are experiencing the biggest effect from Nestle’s pumping. She said the local streams are below their historic levels and as a result it affects local plant and fish populations.

 

“Those streams used to be trout streams with lots of trout in them, not so much anymore because they aren’t deep enough to support trout.”

 

Case said here is no system in place to monitor Nestle’s pumping. She said she hopes that the USGS will better be able to monitor Nestle.