The CEO of FMCG giant Nestlé has come under fire for extracting millions of litres of water from the ground in Pembrokeshire while 125,000 residents face ongoing drought restrictions.
According to locals, water being pumped from an aquifer on the outskirts of Narberth has seen streams run “bone dry” for the first time in over 10 years. One farmer claims his land has sunk by one metre as it has dried out, Wales Online reported.
Princes Gate Spring Water – which is owned by Nestlé – operates in an area where abstraction from groundwater was exempt from licensing control, until recently.
“It isn’t their water, it’s everybody’s water,” Peter Scourfield, a local resident said.
“It’s sick really when people are making money from it and we’re facing a hosepipe ban.”
As a result of this, people have shown their outrage on social media, threatening to boycott the FMCG giant.
Former head of UK trade and business inflation statistics at the Office for National Statistics (ONS), James Freeman tweeted: ” Nestlé CEO says water isn’t a human right, and it’s taking huge amounts of water from Wales while residents face restrictions.”
Nestlé CEO says water isn't a human right!
…and it's taking huge amounts of water from Wales while residents face restrictionshttps://t.co/dgaCxc4BOz
— James Freeman (@JamesfWells) August 28, 2022
Another social media user added: “Water is essential for life!!! What do they think they are doing?”
“No to big corporations – Water is our right, falls on out land, always has done. No big corporation has the right to tell us otherwise. Time to boycott Nestlé,” another user stated.
This comes as convenience retailers are seeing shortages of big-name bottled water brands, resulting in reduced sales of up to 25%.