McCloud Watershed Council

Challenge

The Swiss multinational corporation Nestle negotiated an agreement with the McCloud Community Services District’s Board of Directors to pump large amounts of water from the local aquifer for a planned water bottling plant at the site of a decommissioned lumber mill. McCloud residents, who charged the agreement was made without sufficient public input, were concerned about the impact of the plant on tourism, which relied on a stable water supply to support popular outdoor activities, including world-renowned fly fishing.

Program

Working with members of the citizens group McCloud Watershed Council, I developed a PR campaign educating regional residents and business owners on Nestle’s dismal record of water projects and inflated job promises from other projects around the U.S. Residents and business owners lobbied the Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors and the McCloud Services District Board to reject the agreement because of its impact on the local aquifer and tourism.

Results

Facing growing public opposition, Nestle abandoned plans to establish a water bottling plant in McCloud and eventually established one in an industrial park in Sacramento.