A 5 page research paper that explores the debate in Michigan over water use, specifically looking at the case of Michigan residents opposing a Nestle water-bottling plant's operation. The writer argues that the opponents to the plant have the stronger ethical case. Bibliography lists 4 sources.
Case Study/Michigan Water - November, 2004 properly!
As discussed by Shaw and Barry (2004), there is an ongoing debate in Michigan over who "owns" a commodity in public domain, specifically, fresh water. Nestle asserts that its
operation, which pumps 262 million gallons of fresh water per year from the headwaters of the Little Muskegon River, which feeds Lake Michigan, fits the states legal description of "responsible
use" (Shaw and Barry, 2004). Opponents to the Nestle water-bottling plant see this as a precedent-setting issue that condones the exportation of a valuable resource--clean, fresh water, away from that
regions water table. Examination of this issue shows that the Nestles opponents have the stronger case. First of all, the commodity in question, fresh water, is something that is
going to dramatically escalate in value. The UN estimates that by 2025, roughly two-third of the worlds population will face chronic water shortages (Shaw and Barry, 2004). Furthermore, there is
already evidence that foreign entities, as well as domestic, are looking ahead and they are ready to secure fresh water supplies from whatever country is sufficiently foolish to give them
access to what could be, quite literally, the "liquid gold" of the future. While the proponents of the Nestle plant have a point that the water used by Nestle is
basically no different from that used for other commercial enterprises, there is, nevertheless, a distinct difference in that the water, as water, is being exported for consumption by people other
than those who have claimed this public resource in the past. This sets a precedent that the people of Michigan are wise to guard against. The controversy began