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  • Maine is just one state in which Nestle is trying to control a small town

    Maine is just one state in which Nestle is trying to control a small town's local water source. | Photo: Reuters

Residents and activists in a small U.S. town fear the consequences of corporate control of their public water.

The Republican Governor of Maine has just set a dangerous precedent by helping corporation Nestle secure a contract that gives its subsidiary permission to take the town of Fryeburg’s groundwater for at least 25 years for their own profit, in a deal that could potentially stretch to 45 years, US Uncut report.

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This will be the first time in United States history that a contract ties up local water resources for such a long time. Activists worry this is just the beginning of corporations attempting to take water from rural towns.

The deal was upheld by Maine’s Supreme Judicial Court, which means activists have pretty much been defeated in trying to curtail the deal.

According to Nickie Sekera, the co-founder of Community Water Justice, the town’s water supplier was able to keep Fryeburg’s government largely out of the negotiations with Nestle.

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“Our local municipal water supplier for Fryeburg, Maine, is run by a private company,” Sekera said in an interview with U.S. Uncut. “So it’s not run by a municipality… [so] they can engage in contracts with corporations such as Nestle much easier.”

Sekera said the residents of the town are “worn out” after such a long battle against the company.

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“It’s very difficult to speak out publicly because it sometimes costs people their jobs,” she said. “Their ability to be employed with any connection to the town… because people in power who stand to benefit from this deal have ways of working things.”

In the following weeks, Nestle also plans to secure water sources in the cities of Oxbow Springs, Oregon, and Eldritch, Pennsylvania.

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