Maine has abundent clean water - why let corporations make huge profits? photo by Ramona du HouxFirst appeared in the BDNThe recent Maine Supreme Judicial Court oral arguments regarding the contract between the Fryeburg Water Co., a small water company, and Poland Spring, as part of the Nestle corporation, has spurred information in the media that we believe is alarmist and inaccurate.
As water utility providers in Maine, we are not concerned or alarmed by the contract between the water system in Fryeburg and a large customer. Here’s why:
— There are Maine laws and regulations already in place that protect Maine’s natural water resources, including the use of groundwater, that ensure the long-term viability and sustainability of Maine’s water.
— Maine is water rich, and with 24 trillion gallons of water falling on the state each and every year, our water resources are recharged at least annually, including the groundwater and aquifers. The amount of groundwater used by water utilities and water bottlers each year is less than 1 percent of the entire annual recharge of the groundwater.
— Many Maine water utilities have contracts in place with large water users, including breweries, carbonated drink manufacturers, ice manufacturers and distributors and water bottlers, which provide an important source of revenue that lower and stabilize water rates for all customers.
— Maine has many wonderful, renewable natural resources that are exported each year, and each promotes the beauty and pristine nature of our state. Our long and successful history of exporting trees, blueberries, lobsters, potatoes and water are a source of pride, as well as an economic benefit.
As Maine water utility professionals, we are stewards of Maine’s water resources, and we have a mission of providing safe and adequate drinking water to our customers each and every day. We know our service is essential to life, and we are fortunate to have an abundant source of water. We believe strongly that the contract between Fryeburg Water and Poland Spring is consistent with this mission with no detrimental impact on the environment and our water resources.
Finally, we are proud that what we do each day in providing clean drinking water to our customers is complemented and promoted with the export of this same pristine natural resource outside the state. The water bottlers in Maine, including Poland Spring, endorse the value of drinking just good ol’ water and in doing so endorse Maine.