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California Orders Nestle To Stop Siphoning Spring Water

The world’s largest food and beverage company is accused of taking millions more gallons than it is entitled to.

California water officials have moved to stop Nestlé from siphoning millions of gallons of water out of California’s San Bernardino forest, which it bottles and sells as Arrowhead brand water, as drought conditions worsen across the state.

The draft cease-and-desist order, which still requires approval from the California Water Resources Control Board, is the latest development in a protracted battle between the bottled water company and local environmentalists, who for years have accused Nestlé of draining water supplies at the expense of local communities and ecosystems.

Nestlé has maintained that its rights to California spring water dates back to 1865. But a 2017 investigation found that Nestlé was taking far more than its share. Last year the company drew out about 58 million gallons, far surpassing the 2.3 million gallons per year it could validly claim.