DENNIS BEEMER: MCWC attacks on Nestlé are unfounded

To the editor:

In response to the recent series of articles that relied heavily on information from a Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation spokesman, Evart’s Local Development Finance Authority would like to point out the following facts:

1. The pumping of 400 gallons per minute from Nestlé’s White Pine Springs well will have no discernible effect on Twin or Chippewa creeks. One year in the late 90s, the city of Evart pumped 985 million gallons of water from its well field lying along Twin Creek. That works out to about 1,874 gallons per minute. The 400 gpm Nestlé is requesting to take from its Osceola County well is just a drop in a bucket.

2. At least 50 artesian wells are present along the Muskegon River between M-66 and Osceola County’s 50th Avenue. At least three of those wells release more than 400 gpm. The wells dwarf the amount of water Nestle is requesting permission to take.

3. Water shortages in other areas have nothing to do with water withdrawal in Osceola Township. Water withdrawal in Osceola Township has nothing to do with water shortages in other areas. MCWC should stop trying to connect dots that aren’t connectable.

4. MCWC’s claims of environmental damage caused by Nestlé’s water withdrawals from the White Pine Springs well are inaccurate. Nestlé withdrew an average of only 140 gallons per minute in 2017.

5. The contention of MCWC leadership that Nestlé is purchasing water from Michigan for a mere $200 per year is also inaccurate. The state doesn’t sell water. Why does MCWC continually cite one business expense and imply that expense is the cost of the water? MCWC is ignoring the thousands of dollars in taxes and other expenses Nestlé pays each year.

6. In one of the articles in the series, MCWC’s vice president claimed that the amount of water in Twin and Chippewa creeks is down significantly. That is not true. Here’s the truth. Nestlé pays an environmental monitoring firm to track water levels in the creeks. Readings taken over a number of years dating to before Nestlé was making commercial withdrawals from its White Pine Springs well show the water is always within normal seasonal flows. Flow measuring teams take their data from a schedule posted in advance on the firm’s website. The team doesn’t take measurements only after hard rains.

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Posted by Brandon Fountain

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