“Boycott Nestle Co.” Urge Opponents of Privatization of Public Water!

By Carol McCracken

“Water warriors” they call themselves. Over fifty of them celebrated United Nations Water Day at the North Star Café this past Sunday afternoon. It was an opportune time to bring water concerns to the attention of people from all over the State of Maine.

One group of the water warriors hailed from the southern part of Maine. Last fall they’d undergone a very scary experience concerning their water supply. They wanted to tell others about it as well as rally the troops for the next battle. Nestle Co. will be back, they say. Nestle Co. owns the Poland Spring Water Company.

Last fall, just days before a contract was to be signed between Nestle Co. and KK&W Water Co., the water company that is chartered to serve parts of York County, Jamilla El Shafer discovered what was about to go down. The two companies were about to sign a contract with no public knowledge. It was a very flawed contract between both parties, said Lynn Williams, of Bar Harbor, who is an attorney. Among other problems, it was a 50 year contract which would have been hard to get out of. Opposition was strong. The contract didn’t get signed.

Nestle Co. will be back in York County looking to expand their water business the activists concede. “Our state is precious cause we have a lot of natural resources,” said Shafer. “We need to protect our natural resources.”

“Nestle Co. has an unquenchable desire to pump water from our communities,” said Cynthia Howard, an architect from Biddeford Pool. Part of her community would have been impacted by the new contract had it gone through last fall. “We are still getting educated about this. We are more active cause we’ve been threatened. “It’s a real David & Goliath battle,” she added.

Lynn Williams, is a registered candidate as a Green candidate for Maine Governor in 2010.

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