Michigan, Water, Golf and Nestle Corporation
I read an interesting article over the weekend, published in the Michigan Capitol Confidential news site.
I reported to you last week that Nestle Waters North America was given the ok by State officials for a permit to increase groundwater withdrawals in the amount of 60% from a west Michigan aquifer. This permit will allow Nestle to increase the amount of water it takes from an underground aquifer from 250 to 400 gallons per minute.
As you can imagine this approval by the State was aggressively denounced by environmentalists.
Candice Miller, a former Michigan secretary of state and Republican member of Congress who is now the Macomb County drain commissioner was quoted in the article stating:
Where will Nestle be when the water is gone and the community is left with nothing, but dust and dirt?
Well Ms., Miller and the other people and groups that are upset about this permit approval, do you know how much water is used by our golf courses in Michigan each year?
According to Michigan environmental regulators, in 2004 regulators performed a study to determine how much water is used by Michigan’s golf courses.
What did they find out?
They estimated that Michigan golf courses consumed 34 million gallons per day for irrigation. Now let us extrapolated that 34 million gallons a day over the 225-day golf season that goes from April 5 to Nov. 15.
When we do that we find that Michigan’s golf courses consume approximately 7.6 billion gallons of water during the entire season. That is 7.6 billion gallons a year. By the way, according to Michigan.org there are approximately 650 public golf courses in Michigan.
Now let us look at what Nestle would consume if they wanted to run their bottling plant 24 hours a day for an entire year. Nestle would consume 210 million gallons a year if they ran their bottling plant 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year.
By the way Ms. Miller your county, Macomb, has 26 of those golf courses.
Are you Ms. Miller and others that are opposed to Nestle increasing their water use now going to call for the closing of 100’s and 100’s of golf courses in Michigan.
We shall see.