Water and Los Angeles: Part Two
For years I have been noticing the Crystal Geyser bottling plant on Highway 395 on the Eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada mountains. The warehouse and the trucks are right there, with Mount Whitney looming in the background. Appropos of nothing, I am particularly attuned to this brand of bottled water because my 97-year-old mother refuses to drink anything else. Have you ever tried to get a 97-year-old person to change a habitual buying pattern? Trust me, save your breath! I feel such eco-shame every time a case of water arrives from the grocery store! I will write more later about the eco-brick project I have embarked upon to compensate for the ecological disaster that is my mother’s home.
ANYWAY….. Crystal Geyser sources it’s water from five different locations spread throughout the United States, and employs 300 people nationally. Family owned and operated, they pride themselves on being a “closed-loop” system that works hard to preserve the environment. They have a recycling plant in San Bernardino for their bottles and contribute to various charitable endeavors, including reforestation projects. Go them.
Sadly, all of these efforts and the publicity about their eco-mindedness fall pretty flat with me. There is NO NEED FOR BOTTLED WATER at all. Single use plastic is an ENORMOUS problem world-wide. I don’t care how much they recycle; think of the petroleum needed to produce the plastic, the energy required to manufacture the bottles and transport them, and the reality that nowhere near 100% of the bottles are being recycled. Add to this that all of this effort and energy is being spent on a product that is completely unnecessary. This is what is meant by GREENWASHING – talking environmentally conscious talk while continuing to produce a product that is killing the planet.
Here’s an interesting article that shows just how much Crystal Geyser cares about the planet; read this to learn about how they dealt with arsenic in the wastewater of their plant: https://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/crystal-geyser-pleads-guilty-to-illegally-storing-arsenic-wastewater/2288098/
And what about the water? Snow melt provides the majority of the water Crystal Geyser “harvests” from the Sierras. How is that justifiable? The Owen’s Lake is a toxic dustbowl, the ground water of the Owens Valley has been decimated by 100 years of water redirected to the Los Angeles basin, we have had years of drought in California recently and it’s pretty clear there’s more of that to come. CALIFORNIA WATER NEEDS TO STAY IN CALIFORNIA, in our lakes, streams and aquifers, not be bottled and shipped all over the place.
I don’t know anything about the legal issues involved in water rights. But it seems to me this would be a fight worth fighting.