Protect Our Water For Families, Farms and Fish

Our Water, Our Future

Why do we need this measure?

Opening a water bottling operation in a drought-stricken county is like taking food from hungry people--it just doesn’t make any sense. 

Allowing Nestlé to take Hood River County’s water would set a dangerous precedent our drought-stricken county simply cannot afford.

This project is not just about stopping Nestle’s project--it's about protecting our water supplies for our families, farms and fish.   

It's clear that our elected leaders are either not interested or unwilling to protect our water supply so this is something the citizens of our county are going to do ourselves. 

What does the measure do?

Plain and simple, this measure protects Hood River County’s water supply by prohibiting commercial water bottling operations. 

The measure sets a precedent that we’re not willing to sell off our most important natural asset: Our water. 

 

What about the impact on jobs?

This measure will protect the large number of existing jobs that depend on our water supply to support farms and our salmon fishery.  

Do you know how many jobs Nestlé is willing to ensure go to people from our county? Not one--not a single one. 

It's just not worth trading the future of our water supply for a small number of jobs with absolutely no assurances that they will go to people who live here.  

 

What is the text of the measure?

The Local Water Alliance has filed a ballot measure petition that would amend Hood River County’s Charter to prohibit commercial bottled water production in Hood River County. 

The reason is simple: There is not currently enough water in our County to meet the needs of residential and agricultural users and our salmon fishery. Here is the complete text of the measure:

 

To be adopted as ARTICLE XIII of the Hood River County Charter

Hood River County Water Protection Measure

1. Purposes

Whereas, water is essential for human life;

Whereas, water is critical to residential and agricultural uses within Hood River County and essential to the health, welfare, safety, economy and salmon fishery of the County;

Whereas, water supplies within the County are insufficient to support existing uses during low water years and drought conditions, which are projected to become more common in coming decades;

Whereas, significant efforts are already being made within Hood River County by private individuals and governmental entities alike to reduce water usage in light of limited water supplies;

Whereas the demand for bottled water threatens the long-term ability of Hood River County to ensure a reliable source of water for residential and agricultural uses, as well as to support the salmon fishery;

Whereas, restrictions on bottled water are necessary to protect County water supplies for present and future generations; and

Whereas, the protection of Hood River County’s water supply is an important matter of County concern.

2. Definitions

“Bottled water” means all water that is labeled or marketed for sale as “water” in containers including, but not limited to, plastic and glass bottles, jugs, or similar containers. The term includes the category of bottled waters known as “enhanced water.” The term does not include any other product made from or with water but which is not labeled or marketed as “water.”

“Commercial bottled water operation” means any operation that produces more than 1,000 gallons a day of bottled water for commercial sale.

“County” means Hood River County.

“Person” for the purposes of this amendment includes any real person, governmental body, corporation, partnership, company or any other similar entity in any form.

3. Prohibitions

Within Hood River County no person shall in any way transport or convey water from any water source within the County in order to support a commercial bottled water operation.

4. Temporary emergencies

These prohibitions will not apply in the event of a natural disaster or comparable emergency during which a temporary and local need for bottled water may exist.

5. Enforcement

Hood River County or any person or group of persons may bring a civil action in Hood River County Circuit Court to enforce the terms of this measure. In such a suit, neither party shall be entitled to recover damages or litigation costs beyond what is allowed under state law.

6. Severability

If any provision of this Charter amendment is held invalid, the other provisions of this Charter amendment shall not be affected thereby. If the application of this Charter amendment or any of its provisions to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the application of the Charter amendment and its provisions to other persons or circumstances shall not be affected thereby.

7. Interpretation

Any ambiguity in this amendment should be liberally construed to further the purposes of this amendment.