Sunday, February 18, 2024

An update on groundwater usage

Just a few days ago I posted about groundwater usage in Montana and how I thought it was a good thing (LINK). Here is a story about the opposite issue, taking too much groundwater.

Poland Springs is part of the company Great Spring Waters of America. This company owns Poland Springs, Arrowhead, and others. Unlike Coke's Desnai or Pepsi's Aquafina, the companies of Great Springs primarily get their water from springs, not filtered tap water.

Arrowhead, for those that do not know, much of the water was pumped from the aquifer around Like Arrowhead, part of the mountains around Los Angeles and Orange Counties. During the drought which lasted through 2023, California closed down some of the water gathering from these aquifers - including the pumping at Lake Arrowhead. Poland Spring water is collected from the aquifers in Maine. Many people in Maine wanted to limit Poland Springs. They were not successful.

Maine recently tried to stop water companies from exploiting the aquifer. Unlike Montana, no judge stepped in. The legislature killed the bill due to heavy lobbying from water companies.

Two steps forward, one step back.

I think one of the reasons the legislation failed is that Maine is rarely affected by drought. Legislators can more easily be swayed if they do not see the effect of their laws. In this case, a dropping aquifer is not visible and is novel in Maine.

Drought will probably happen at some point, but the short-term decisions won't catch up to these legislators, and so they put their greed first.

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