Protecting Vittel groundwater: where are we now?
On October 2 2019, the French State announced the study of another approach than the one initially agreed in 2018 which was called the “substitution” solution. A new collective solution was proposed by the Vosges department administration in January 2020. It takes into account all the issues at stake in the area, and it aims at solving the water resource issue by rationalizing existing withdrawals on a multi-groundwater approach.
Where does Nestlé Waters stand on this new approach?
Nestlé Waters fully supports the Vosges’ prefecture initiatives, alongside the other local actors. Since this issue emerged, our first priority has always been to find a lasting solution to preserve the water resource on GTI and ensure the future of the territory. The “substitution” solution was not Nestlé’s initiative, but a solution voted by the Local Water Commission, in which Nestlé Waters is one of the 46 members. This new alternative solution now makes it possible to consider a return to the balance of the GTI groundwater by 2027.
What will be Nestlé Waters’ role in this new framework?
As it was already the case, Nestlé Waters will continue be a driving force alongside the other local players. We strongly believe in the need for a concerted, collective approach and will actively contribute to it. Nestlé Waters has been taking this issue very seriously since it first emerged. The company has contributed substantially to the collective efforts to reduce the withdrawals on this groundwater table by reducing our share by 38% since 2010. We will continue to reduce our withdrawals from 2020 onwards
What are the next steps?
The protocol established by the Vosges’ Prefecture calls for a concerted and collective approach in which all local stakeholders are involved to contribute to the efforts to reduce the withdrawals. Through the commitments made in this protocol, Nestlé Waters will continue to reduce withdrawals on aquifer C (GTI groundwater), while keeping the sustainable management of all groundwater in the region at the heart of its concerns. To achieve this, and from the beginning of 2020, Nestlé Waters will launch three major projects:
- The continued reduction of its withdrawals on the GTI groundwater;
- The conduct of studies to rationalise its withdrawals from the various aquifers;
- The assessment of the possibilities for recovery of its process water.