The Weed Area Water Alliance ("WAWA") is a newly-formed California non-profit organization made up of local citizens and supporters seeking to protect access to water in their towns of Weed and Mt. Shasta City.
WAWA’s focus is protection of Weed’s water supply, originating at nearby Beaughan Springs. This source has supplied water to the city for over a century. But a local timber company, Roseburg Forest Products, claims ownership of the spring. Roseburg's plan is to cut off water to the town, while selling it to a local Crystal Geyser bottling plant. Crystal Geyser, LLC is owned by a French investor and Japanese pharmaceutical company. This New York Times article looks at the corporate actors claiming water rights and the community response, and this Sierra Club article goes into the competing legal claims for ownership. It's a sadly too-classic tale of water rights, water privatization and environmental impact that pits the private corporate "right" to profit against the public community rights of 2,700 local residents.
Meanwhile, other local residents are organizing opposition to the proposed Crystal Geyser Water Company bottling plant at Mt. Shasta, a facility which will discharge hazardous and toxic wastewater into Mt. Shasta City's municipal sewer system and this company's own leach field. The public essentially lost by 3-2 on a recent Mt. Shasta City Council vote on this company's request for a sewer connection permit. Many people called for a subsequent Environmental Impact Report (EIR) before considering this sewer permit to inform the community about the harmful chemicals Crystal Geyser plans to discharge. You can read more here and here.
Follow WAWA on Facebook, and contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are in the area and want to get involved.
California's recent multi-year drought convinced many in the state of the need to secure water for human needs, and there have been protests around expanded bottling operations as well as renewed scrutiny of water rights claimed by bottlers and exporters. The Alliance for Democracy is proud to support WAWA's fight for water for people, not for profit.
WAWA is now sponsored by Alliance for Democracy, a non-profit public benefit 501(c)3 organization. Donations are tax-deductible.
Protection of the Beaughan Creek and Shasta River from Roseburg Forest Products' Superfund Site; supporting City of Weed's water rights to pristine, gravity-fed Beaughan Springs Mount Shasta water for the citizens of Weed. Citizens have relied on this water for over 111 years. Privatization of water rights is an idea whose time has passed.
Weed Area Water Alliance
Simply protecting Weed from water privatization or corporate misdeeds.
Click NEWS tab above for update on issues
Thursday, February 22th 9:00 a.m.: Siskiyou County Superior Court, Yreka: W.A.W.A. trial/hearing on the CEQA environmental portion of the complaint filed against the City of Weed and Roseburg.
(time corrected to 9 a.m.)(Hearing postponed until Feb. 22, 2018 due to a court calendar scheduling change.)
Short video with local City of Weed residents discussing water grab by Roseburg:
(See video box on 2nd page.)
A crew of former mayors is fighting back. They believe the water right belongs to the City, and with new-found evidence in hand, they’re raising money to bring the case to court.
Once a booming company town, the decline of the timber industry has left this part of California in deep economic depression. To the townspeople, the spring water is not only their heritage, but the only resource that could generate revenue to pay for schools, roads and basic city infrastructure. And yet the City receives no share of the profit that Crystal Geyser, which is co-owned by an infamous French billionaire and a Fortune 500 Japanese pharmaceutical company, makes from selling the water overseas.
Video by Maya Craig:
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