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Think Out Loud

Bottling It Up in Cascade Locks

Pete Springer/OPB

Nestle Waters has expressed interest in building a spring water bottling plant in the Oregon town of Cascade Locks. Nestle Waters is a division of Nestle that bottles ten brands of water in North America including Poland Spring, Perrier, and Arrowhead. Cascade Locks is a town of roughly 1,075 people that has been losing jobs for decades and closed its high school earlier this month. The $50 million Nestle facility would bring with it an estimated 45 new jobs and would almost double the town’s property tax revenue.

Opponents of this proposal say that the Nestle jobs won’t go to current Cascade Locks residents, and that Nestle’s presence will drive away tourists who would otherwise come to visit the beautiful scenery. The facility would also bring a continuous stream of truck traffic to the town, and some residents worry about negative consequences for the environment.

Nestle Waters has faced similar opposition before from communities around the country, fighting legal battles in several states. Nestle last year canceled a contract to build a water bottling plant in the town of McCloud, California, after years of vocal opposition from many in that community.

Where does the water you drink come from? Do you live in Cascade Locks, or near a bottled water facility that’s already up and running?  How can a small town balance tourism, economic and environmental concerns? How would a Nestle bottling plant in Cascade Locks affect you?


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