LETTER TO THE EDITOR: You should care about water privatization — it is a threat to all of us


In Mecosta County, right next door to Isabella County, Nestlé pumps thousands of gallons of water per day out of the local aquifer and sells it for profit. 

When large companies like Nestlé buy large sums of fresh water and sell it back to us in plastic bottles, it is called water privatization.

Companies like this do not believe water is a human right. 

In 2005, former CEO of Nestlé, Peter Brabeck, suggested claiming water is a human right is “extreme” and then asserted water is a “foodstuff,” a commodity and should be valued and distributed by a free market.

Nestlé would argue that public water systems do not need to be maintained, because bottled water is available. These companies do not consider the millions of Americans whose only source of water is from the tap. 

These companies lobby for lax regulations and try to keep cities from investing in their water systems. 

When states and people invest in private water companies, they stop investing in public water infrastructure. Water treatment facilities and pipes do not get updated when people believe there is not a need for them. 

Nestlé and corporations like it, are the biggest threat to our nation’s public water supply. 

With tap water readily available and accessible to all Americans, no one thinks of the repercussions of what a plastic bottle of water can do to a community. 

The water in those bottles becomes a commodity, not a right. 

As climate change worsens and water pollution regulations are weakened, there will be a continued lack of fresh water. 

Nestlé will continue buying the remaining sources and selling them to the highest bidder. 

Central Michigan University invests in companies like Nestlé by allowing them to sell plastic bottled water in campus stores and vending machines. Our tuition funds organizations that are taking away people’s water.

Doing so states that CMU does not believe every person deserves access to safe and affordable drinking water. 

CMU is part of the reason some Americans no longer have safe and affordable drinking water. 

CMU needs to be conscious of their actions by understanding exactly what happens when they allow water privatization on their campus. CMU should be ashamed for investing in a company that is destroying our ecosystems and making a human right into a profit margin.

Students need to be aware of the consequences buying plastic water bottles out of the vending machine create. Every time you choose a plastic water bottle you take away someone else’s right to water. 

Take Back the Tap is a registered student organization on campus advocating to end the sale of single-use plastic water bottles on campus. 

We are competing in a nationwide contest to win $1,500 to build CMU’s public water infrastructure. The school with the most texts wins. 

If you believe water is a human right text “I Heart Tap” to 69866 and reply with your full cmich.edu email address.

If CMU’s Take Back the Tap campaign wins, it will demonstrate to the administration that students believe our university should not invest in water privatization. Winning would demonstrate that CMU believes water is a human right for all. 

Students need to fight back against water privatization. 

Just because you can afford a bottle of water doesn’t mean everyone can. 

You’ll never know how much you depend on water until it’s gone. 


President of Take Back the Tap

South Lyon Senior