We learned of a proposed bottled water manufacturing project in January of this year, to be located somewhere in the Spring Creek Watershed. Since then, ClearWater Conservancy has has received many calls, emails, and inquiries from people around the region who want to learn more and have their feedback heard. Clearly we are part of a community that understands the importance of managing our region’s water supply. We'd like to share a brief update, as well as a few upcoming events with you.
Public Input on the Project
Two public forums were held the week of March 12 at CPI in Pleasant Gap. Hundreds of people were in attendance at each event.
The March 12 forum was hosted by Nestle. Written questions could be submitted in advance and a moderator presented some of the questions to a panel of Nestle employees. Nestle representatives announced that all written questions will receive a response. We understand that these responses will be published soon, and we'll send a link when it's available.
The March 14 forum was hosted by the Sierra Club Moshannon Group and the Nittany Valley Environmental Coalition. ClearWater was asked to give our perspective on the need for a comprehensive water plan, as
After both forums, many questions still remain unanswered.
- What does the science show about how withdrawal of water for consumptive use might impact on our region’s water supply?
- How much water will be exported, both now and in the future?
- What are the decision points--how will local officials decide whether or not to move forward with the project?
- How will public comment be incorporated in the decision?
A Plan Based on Scientific Data
ClearWater has put forward the idea of an
Integrated Water Resources Management Plan
. Such a plan would draw on the best available scientific data to help local governments have a confident understanding of how current and proposed future water use could affect the quantity and quality of our region’s water supply.
How much can our water use grow without compromising the health of our local community, the environment, and the economy? ClearWater believes a comprehensive Water Management Plan would help answer this question.
Unfortunately this kind of plan can not be completed within the time frame in which Spring Township Water Authority hopes to execute an agreement to sell water to Nestle. A non-legally binding terms sheet was approved at the Authority’s February meeting,
. We are unsure when they will finalize an agreement.
Their next meeting is today, Wednesday, March 28 at 7 pm at the Spring Township Municipal Building.
What Happens Next?
There will be other opportunities for the public to weigh in. We know that additional review and analysis by the Susquehanna River Basin Commission and the PA Dept. of Environmental Protection will have to take place for Spring Township Water Authority to receive permits for a consumptive use of water. ClearWater is committed to commissioning an independent review of the hydrologic data that will be required for consumptive use permit approvals so we can weigh in with the best available information and analysis.
Share Your Feedback
To those of you who have already shared your feedback on this project, thank you. We will continue to collect and share your comments with our local leaders, including the Spring Township Water Authority, Spring Township Board of Supervisors, Benner Township Board of Supervisors and the Centre County Commissioners. You can send us your thoughts via
ClearWater Conservancy understands that proactive source water protection and land conservation efforts are valued by our community. Consideration of feedback from community members all around the watershed is important. We all rely on the same regional groundwater for our everyday water use, and that same groundwater system supports a world-renown recreational fishery and vibrant economy.
As always, we will keep you up to date on our efforts to proactively protect our region's local natural resources for all future generations through land conservation, water resources stewardship, and environmental outreach across Central Pennsylvania. We look forward to
hearing from you
on the conservation efforts that are most important to you.
Executive Director, ClearWater Conservancy