The Swiss corporation Nestle wants to increase how much water it takes from a well in Evart, Michigan.
The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality used a computer modeling program called the Water Withdrawal Assessment Tool to assess the potential effect of an increase.
The program determined the increase from 250 gallons of water a minute to 400 gallons a minute from one well might have an negative impact on nearby streams and rivers and gave the plan to pump more water the lowest grade possible. MDEQ officials overruled the model’s assessment, calling it too conservative.
The MDEQ plans to hold a public hearing on the matter. So far, 14,000 people have submitted comments with most in opposition to the increase in water extraction.
Evart City Manager Zack Szakacs joined Stateside to talk about the impact water extraction has had on the city and what could happen if the increase is approved.
Listen to the full interview to hear Szakacs talk about the arrangement the city has with Nestle, issues with water contamination and how he thinks Nestle is getting "singled out" when other bottled water companies are doing the same thing.