Battling over Bottled Water

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Date Submitted: 11/24/2013 05:01 PM

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March 4th, 2013

Case Study #2

Battling over Bottled Water

I. What occurred in the case is the rights and limitations of natural spring water in Michigan State, and if companies such as Nestle have the right to pump out water from the spring and use it elsewhere for bottled water.

II. The major parties involved within this case are Nestle, MCWC, Michigan State Senator Ken Sikkema, O’Rourke, David K. Ladd (head of the Office of Great Lakes), and the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, a local private 850 acre hunting ranch, township supervisor Maxine McClellan and Jim Olson.

III. The central ethical issues of this case are whether or not these major companies such as Nestle and Ice Mountain have the right to pump water at the alarming rate they do out of the spring and great lakes. For “the right to withdraw ground does not include the right to diminish it for future uses” states Jim Olson, advocate against the bottling of the water.

IV. The 4 major ethical schools of thought would be as follows in regards to who follows which line:

1.Egoism- Nestle would be following this frame of thought due to it being a profit driven company, only looking to the short-term of the situation and seeing as to what it can gain from pumping as much water as possible from the plant. This same theory of ethics would be the one Ice Mountain’s O’Rourke would be following as well…The general public would also be following egoism in the sense that they desire to use it however they would like, be it for swimming, drinking, fishing, or hygienic purposes.

2. Utilitarianism- Parties such as the local Indian tribes, Jim Olson, and Jennifer Granholm would be taking the utilitarian approach to the matter thinking about the benefit of keeping these companies from over pumping the spring, which would cause northern pike to have a harder time spawning, which in affect would do unjust harm to the ecosystem that is based upon the spring and the surrounding area. The...