McCloud Water Bottling Contract Terminated.
More Bottlers on the Horizon?
June 22, 2020, marked the end of the extended six year contract between McCloud Artesian Spring Water Co (Artesians) and the McCloud Community Services District (MCSD) for the purchase and sale of McCloud’s precious spring water. The promises of bottlers have once again failed in McCloud.
It was in September 2009 when Nestle Waters North America walked out of McCloud after 6 long years. Challenges of an inadequate EIR went as far as the California Attorney General’s Office and continued citizen objections led Nestle to switch gears, abandon their project and head out of town.
On June 22nd, 2020, the MCSD Board terminated another 6 year agreement. That’s two failed attempts at grabbing the very same spring water. The Artesians were never able to buy land or successfully create a legitimate EIR. Their project was outlined in a January 2018 Notice of Preparation. W.A.T.E.R. responded to the Artesian CEQA Notice of Preparation, (see full response HERE), but project concerns were never answered.
After a year of silence, on June 12th the Artesians had requested an extension to their agreement. The letter cited the following reasons for delay: “Our concerns regarding ongoing litigation of another water facility in the neighboring community has slowed our ability to move forward with certainty that the same may happen in McCloud.” . . . and “Unfortunately, the epidemic has had devastating affects...”
Uncharacteristically, looking beyond the delusional thoughts of money, the MCSD board unanimously voted to terminate the expired Artesians contract and did not ask them to return. Cavorting with all of these bottlers has been very costly in many ways not to mention how McCloud citizens and ratepayers have been affected by false narratives and promises which have created deep divisions among community members over water sales for the last 17 years.
Is there another new water sale on the horizon? As McCoud’s spring water sources are one of a kind and belonging to the trust of the people, let us remember both domestic and foreign intruders are constantly lurking in the wings for a next opportunity to gain control of this most precious resource.
Now, it’s starting all over again. Most recently, within weeks of the Artesian contract termination, a first attempt via a most eloquently written letter (see HERE) from a Visalia company called Foods For Athletes ironically arrived at the desks of the Board of DIrectors of the MCSD. The company intends to bottle Blackmp products including bottling water using private labels. More bottlers could be lining up in the wings. On August 24th, the board reviewed the letter from Foods for Athletes and agreed to establish a 2 person adhoc committee to review this speculative project which at this time has no approved building site, dedicated water delivery from the MCSD or purchased land.
W.A.T.E.R will continue to watch the situation of McCloud’s precious three spring water sources.