Two years ago, California land owner Lew Weaver told his neighborhood about his plans to create a business: Montana Artesian Water Company. To allay concerns, he promised it would be small.
The permit application came in the mail just thirty days before his permit application went under review, and after squinting to decipher the legal wording, the scale of his operation was abhorrently clear as anything but small.
- Extracting 245 million gallons of water a year to manufacture, rinse, and fill 140,000 bottles an hour to export 1.22 billion bottles annually.
- This will require up to 160 semis daily either coming or going, and their route will inevitably include farm roads that feed into two elementary schools: Creston and Fair-Mont-Egan. The route will continue to include either Highways 93 or 35 around Flathead Lake, or the Swan Highway.
- The factory has the potential to be the size of three Walmarts, one of the biggest in the country, since supplying 2% of America's bottled water is the primary goal.
Feeling betrayed and blind-sided, the neighborhood has decided to rally, along with the support of Flathead community. As it becomes increasingly obvious that the local government is stepping aside to let Weaver export the Flathead's water, we have assembled to support the fight against this corporate extraction. Word of MAWC's awful intention has spread across the country like wildfire and gained national attention; people continue to reach out from California to Vermont with concern. The most prominent of recommendations? Start a social-media savvy organization to form a hub for action and get like-minded people under one tent.
After immense encouragement, Flathead Unbottled was born to help protect what is perhaps our community's most precious asset: our glacial water resource.