Test your knowledge about Nestle's plans to expand its Michigan water bottle plant

Swiss firm's request to pump more water OK'd over strong public objections

iStock/LaraBelova

Despite more than 80,000 public objections, a state agency approved a Swiss-based corporation's request in April to bottle and sell more Michigan groundwater.

Take our quiz below to test how much you know about Nestle Waters North America's plans to pump an additional 150 gallons per minute from its well in Osceola County in northern Michigan. For more information about each answer, see the review at the end of this article. 

 

Question 1: How much water does Nestle pump from Michigan?

Nestle is permitted by the state to pump 250 gallons per minute from its White Pine Springs well No. 101 in Osceola Township to a loading station in Evart and then trucked to a bottling plant in Stanwood. The well is in Osceola County south of Cadillac and northwest of Mt. Pleasant. The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality approved a permit in April for Nestle to pump an additional 150 gallons per minute from the White Pine Springs well.

Question 2: How much does Nestle pay Michigan to pump water from its Osceola County well?

Nestle pays the state a one-time $5,000 fee and then $200 per year for a permit. Michigan is one of 18 states in the U.S. to charge any kind of fee to bottle water.

Question 3: What were Nestle's profits from bottled water in 2017?

Nestle Waters North America reported $4.5 billion in sales last year.

Question 4: How many water bottling plants are in Michigan?

Nestle's Ice Mountain plant in Stanwood is one of about 50 water bottling plants in Michigan.

Question 5: How much water do Michiganders use each year?

All in, Michiganders use about 782 billion gallons of groundwater per year. Nestle is permitted to pump a total of 210 million gallons per year.

Question 6: Who approved Nestle's permit requesting to pump an additional 150 gallons per minute from its Osceola County well?

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality announced it approved Nestle's permit to pump the additional 150 gallons per day on April 2.

Question 7: How many public comments opposed the Nestle expansion?

Nearly 81,0000 people filed complaints in opposition to the Nestle permit, while just 75 in favor of the project.

Question 8: True or false: In 2016, Americans bought more bottled water than soda.

True. In 2016, the average American bought 39 gallons of water vs. 38.5 gallons of soda.

Question 9: What is the most common use of groundwater in Michigan?

Irrigation accounts for 45% of water use in Michigan, followed by public use at 34% and manufacturing/industrial at 15%. Bottled water accounts for 0.3% of annual use.

Question 10: How much water is Nestle donating to Flint?

Nestle committed to donating 100,000 bottles of water per week to Flint through Labor Day. It was part of a coalition of companies that donated 6.5 million bottles of water to Flint starting in January 2016.

More info:

Nestle's defense of its water bottling business in Michigan

Opinion (Bridge Mag): Nestle water deal is bad policy -- and bad economics -- for Michigan

Do you think the deal is good for Michigan?

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