The Local Water Alliance filed ballot measure petition that would amend Hood River County’s Charter to prohibit commercial bottled water production in Hood River County.
Last year's emergency drought was a reminder that our water is limited, and a secure water suppply is critical for thousands of existing local jobs. It doesn't makes sense to export bottled water when experts say that droughts will be increasing, and we already don't have enough for our farms, homes, and small businesses.
The Water Protection Measure is a common-sense way to protect our local water supply for use by our families, farms, and fishery, and protect it from being trucked away in over 1.6 BILLION plastic bottles every year.
But the Measure isn't just about protecting our County from Nestlé's proposed plant, it's about making clear that we want to protect our limited water supply for uses that actually matter—our orchards, homes, and small businesses.
Read the complete text of the measure below:
To be adopted as ARTICLE XIII of the Hood River County Charter
Hood River County Water Protection Measure
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 production are necessary to protect water supplies for present and future generations; and
Whereas, the protection of Hood River’s water supply is an important matter of county concern.
“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.”
“Commercially producing bottled water” means any operation that produces more than 1,000 gallons a day of bottled water for commercial sale.
“Commercially produced bottled water” means bottled water produced as a part of any operation that produces more than 1,000 gallons a day.
“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.
Within Hood River County no person shall:
a. engage in the act of commercially producing bottled water from any water source located within the County;
b. transport commercially produced bottled water in any way when such water was collected from any water source within the County; or
c. transport or convey water by any means for the purpose of commercially producing bottled water.
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.
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.
If any provision of this Charter amendment is held invalid, the other provisions of this Charter amendment shall not beaffected 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.
Any ambiguity in this amendment should be liberally construed to further the purposes of this amendment.