In a landmark decision, California authorities have issued a cease notice to BlueTriton, the parent company of Arrowhead bottled water, to stop its long-term practice of drawing water directly from natural springs in the San Bernardino mountain area. This decision is the result of years of relentless campaigning by environmentalists. It marks a victory for both conservationists and local community groups who were against the company’s activities that severely affected the region’s delicate ecological balance. Despite the financial stakes involved, the directive is a major environmental triumph and also upholds state laws for its thoughtful move.
Arrowhead Bottled Water was founded in 1885. Back then, the company was selling spring water from a hotel in the San Bernardino Mountains. Arrowhead faced mounting opposition during that period for its unauthorized water extraction practice. Environmentalists and local communities have consistently shed light on the company’s illegal activity of tapping into the San Bernardino National Forest springs without the necessary permission. The water resources control board of the state has now upheld this claim.
The cease on the water extraction process of Arrowhead is a unanimous decision of the board. It has imposed strict limitations on the volume of water that the parent company, Blue Triton, can draw from the region. It marks the success of a sustained effort to preserve the ecological balance in an area. Speaking on this content, Laurel Firestone, a water resources control board member, said, “I understand a huge amount of money and business is at stake.” He added, “It also is important for us that no matter how much money is involved, we are going to ensure that the laws of our state are upheld and that they apply to everybody.”
Responding to this cease-and-desist order, BlueTriton Brands intended to legally challenge the directive to “vigorously defend our water rights through available legal process.” The company’s legal team revealed that they have ample evidence to establish their historical use of the springs, dating back to a time before 1914 when the state initiated regulations related to water usage. The company is confident that its longstanding history will grant it seniority rights under the water rights system in California.
Blue Triton has also put forward a 1931 court ruling as evidence to support its legal entitlement to utilize the spring water. It is a contention that has been uncontested for decades. During a recent hearing, however, the California authorities remained unperturbed by these claims. It asserts that the company’s assertions are holding unswayed. The legal team emphasizes that the 1929 date of the company’s claim precluded them from securing seniority under the state’s water rights law. The company also clarified that the 1931 court case resolved a small dispute between two parties and was not regarding an endorsement of the company’s right to exploit the springs. The state regulators have the right to compel the company to cease and desist its water extraction activity.
A resolute community of residents has tirelessly voted for years to stop the company’s unauthorized water extraction practices. Celebrating the triumphant moment of watershed voting, many residents of the region have come forward to describe the transformation in the ecology caused by the company’s actions.
Amanda Frye, a resident of Redlands, has invested countless hours to scrutinize documents related to the case. She attests to witnessing that BlueTriton’s pipelines carried huge volumes of water from Strawberry Creek, leading to its desiccation. She laments, “Strawberry Creek can no longer support fish.” Describing the actions of the company, Frye added, “Essentially they inserted a straw into each spring and diverted it down the mountain to their trucks to take it away.”
The directive imposed on BlueTriton to cease extractions from natural springs in the San Bernardino mountain region symbolizes a moment of victory for eco-warriors in the ongoing battle between conservation and commerce. The cease-and-desist order strongly conveys the importance of adhering to environmental regulations and preserving delicate ecosystems. As the battle continues, environmentalists and community groups are determined to safeguard the San Bernardino Mountains from corporate interests.