Nestlé May Be Coming Up Against It: Small Town In Southeastern Washington State Latest To Stand Up To Water Bullies

The Latest In The Battle Against The Water Bullies: How A Small Town In Washington Stood Up To Nestlé

There is something so satisfying when a bully finally gets his comeuppance. A huge slice of Hollywood culture mines this area of the human experience, and not jut in cheesy 1980s movies or kids cartoons either. Deep within, we are all hardwired to cheer for the toppling of a bully–all of us except the bully, that is.

That’s why in this day and age when money rules over everything, and it seems like there is no opposition that a well-heeled corporation can come up against for which there isn’t some price at which it can be overcome, it is wonderful to see a bullying corporation get its collective ass handed to it.


That seems to be the case in the small town of Waitsburg, Washington, where Nestlé found out the hard way that the city fathers and the residents don’t like to be pushed around.

The upshot is that Nestlé has been ordered to immediately cease and desist from all exploratory work it was performing in the town’s watershed while the City Council considers the corporation’s interest in building a bottling plant there.

When it came out at a sharp-tongued City Council meeting that the mega-corporation–which is the world’s biggest company by annual revenue–had already begun exploration at some spring sites, both the council members and attendees were shocked.

It seems that the mayor acted alone, and based on a handshake deal with the company, they were allowed to begin exploratory work without the knowledge or consent of the city council–nor the voters.

“I’m a little bit dumbfounded sitting here tonight,” said Council member KC Kuykendall. “Here we are now with Nestle up there, doing I don’t know what, in our watershed with some unknown, undefined scope of work,” Kuykendall said. “And the legislative body sitting here has been kept in the dark. And I just can’t believe that you, mayor, went down this path when we had an opportunity just a month ago to prepare if that was your plan.”

Kuylendall called for a motion to order that all Nestlé work at the sites cease and desist immediately until the council could reassess.

It passed unanimously.

And it was announced that the process to evaluate Nestlé’s plans to build a $50 million water bottling plant there will begin with a community meeting–to which Nestlé’s representatives would not be invited.

So score one for the good guys. Here’s hoping that more communities who find themselves and their water preyed upon by these corporate bullies discover the cojones that Waistburg’s City Council showed.

It’s time to send those who seek to profit from a basic human need packing.

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