When you open a bottle of spring water, have you ever wondered about its source? Who is keeping an eye on the quantity and quality of the spring water and the surrounding habitat? Who is responsible for making sure our springs are sustainable for generations to come? Well, for an unassuming yet passionate team at Nestlé Waters North America, this is their job.
We call this team our Natural Resource Managers, NRMs for short. Part of their job is to find spring sources that meet our high quality standards, lead an effort to study them and, if appropriate, permit them for use. They work with community leaders, regulators and other stakeholders to make sure water supplies are able to meet company demand, as well as community and environmental needs. Another part of their job is to manage and monitor the springs, as well as their related watersheds for long term sustainability. With specialized expertise and broad professional experiences, our NRMs are very familiar with the springs under their care and the surrounding watershed lands.
From river-bank clean ups, to partnerships with local organizations, to providing educational resources for the community, NRMs are hands-on in their approach to caring for the springs and surrounding communities. For example, an NRM worked with two non-profit organizations to help coordinate the removal of man-made blockades that were preventing the flow of the Wekepeke River in Massachusetts and its fish. Our NRMs are involved with projects such as these around the country.
Our team in Texas partnered with Ducks Unlimited, a global leader in wetlands conservation, to help improve water resources and wetlands around the springs that support our facility in Hawkins, Texas, as well as wetland restoration along the Gulf Coast. Conserving wetlands provides critical habitat for waterfowl and other wildlife, and improves overall watershed health. With the team’s investment of time and resources, Ducks Unlimited is conducting local science-based research, allowing the organization to continue to monitor and evaluate habitat programs in the region and improve overall wetland health.
The next time you open one of our bottles of spring water, you can feel confident knowing that its sources are personally cared for by a meticulous and dedicated team that takes pride in being the stewards of the springs.
Brendan O’Rourke is Vice President of Natural Resources for Nestlé Waters North America.