The controversial water bottling plant was only open for three years
Nestle North America closed a controversial Phoenix, Ariz., water bottling plant less than three years after the facility opened. The water bottling plant met criticism from water advocates who argued the company should not build a plant in a desert.
Nestle’s legal counsel in 2016, when the plant first opened, projected an annual production of 35 million gal, the equivalent of an average 18-hole Phoenix golf course or the amount of water used by 200 Phoenix household in a year. The water was purchased from the city of Phoenix, according to AZ Central. However, the company has cited stiff competition as their reason for shuttering the plant.
“In response to the competitive situation, we have been evolving our operations to meet our future needs and to position the company for long-term success,” said Hugues Larente, the company’s Phoenix factory manager.
Moving forward, production will be shifted to another facility and 15 employees will be affected, either receiving severance packages or jobs at other Nestle locations. Overall, Nestle spend more than $35 million to refurbish a west-Phoenix warehouse to house the bottled water plant.
“Phoenix’s water supply is sound and sustainable as a result of multiple water sources and a logical methodical approach to supply, planning, infrastructure management, conservation and drought preparation,” Nestle said in a statement in 2016, amid the controversy surrounding the plant opening.