12 Mar 2009

Water Chats -- McCloud

I met with Debra Anderson and Brian Stewart in McCloud, a small "town" just east of Mt. Shasta.

McCloud is blessed with an amazing water supply: Water springs flow straight from the ground, gushing more clean, cold, volcanically-enhanced (!) water than the community can ever hope to drink.

And that's the problem...

Nestle wants to bottle that water and sell it to people elsewhere in the State.

Well -- the problem is NOT that Nestle wants to bottle the water but the terms under which Nestle wants to do so [Prior posts].

Debra, who is president of the McCloud Watershed Council, spoke with a mixture of concern and outrage over the handling of McCloud's water -- worrying that the local population is too enamoured of a deal that promises the "good old days" [i.e., the company town security that the saw mill provided] and/or has not considered how Nestle may choose to interpret a contract [here] that gives it a lot of leeway.

Brian is involved in local politics but spoke as a "general member of the public."

Listen to our one-hour and six minute [23MB MP3] chat to learn more about how a community of 1,200 people reconciles political, economic and environmental concerns as it tries to maintain and improve its quality of life. [By amazing coincidence, a caller asked about McCloud when I was on KALW a few days later. I was very happy to have enough knowledge to answer his question.]

Bottom Line: There are costs and benefits to every decision, and McCloud's people are wrestling with a decision that could enhance or destroy their way of life.

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