A global bottled water company is asking for permission to more than double how much water it’s withdrawing from the ground in west Michigan.
Nestle Waters is asking the state to set aside a seven-year-old agreement with environmental groups so it can add two production lines. That could boost its water withdrawal rate to 400 gallons a minute.
Jim Olson is a water rights attorney in Traverse City.
“What does this mean for the state of Michigan? That’s a substantial amount of water.”
Olson says he’d like to see tighter controls over bottled water operations in the Great Lakes region.
A DEQ official says the state has to say OK if Nestle shows the larger withdrawals won’t affect nearby streams and wildlife. The DEQ has extended the public comment period into next year.