Counter-Cola: A Multinational History of the Global CorporationMain MenuAn Introduction to the Digital BookCounter-Cola: IntroductionThe Coca-Cola Bottling System and the Logics of the FranchiseMediating Coca-Colonization: Negotiating National Development and Difference in Coca-Cola’s Postwar Internationalization“I’d Like to Buy the World a Coke”: The “Real Thing” and the Revolutions of the 1960s"Indianize" or "Quit India": Nationalist Challenges in Post-Colonial IndiaA Man in Every Bottle: Labor and Neoliberal Violence in Colombian BottlingWater for Life, Not for Coca-Cola: Commodification, Consumption, and Environmental ChallengesCSR: Corporate Social Responsibility and Continued Social ResistanceA NonconclusionAmanda Ciafone0aef7449200e57e794d451fa2ca99b0795928eaf
Bloomberg/Quint, March 17, 2017.
12017-12-09T22:18:53-08:00Amanda Ciafone0aef7449200e57e794d451fa2ca99b0795928eaf152001"Soda Makers Built Factories in Some of India's Most Water-Stressed Regions," Bloomberg/Quint, March 17, 2017.plain2017-12-09T22:18:54-08:00Amanda Ciafone0aef7449200e57e794d451fa2ca99b0795928eaf
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1media/All Over the World Coca Cola Brings Refreshment Larger cropped.jpgmedia/water for life cropped Screen Shot 2017-11-22 at 1.02.59 AM copy.jpg2017-12-09T20:15:11-08:00"Water Mining" in Mehdiganj2image_header2017-12-09T22:23:43-08:00These women and many others in their villages are primarily poor farmers, landless agricultural workers, many indigenous Adivasis and low caste Dalits. They were protesting the plants’ pollution of surrounding agricultural lands by industrial effluent, and more markedly, plants’ daily extraction of 600,000 liters of water a day (on average, and up to 1.5 million during the summer months) to produce soft drinks and bottled water – exacerbating and degrading the falling water table. Villagers and activists called this “water mining.”[i]
Water extraction is virtually unregulated as a colonial era law gives landowners private property rights not only to their land but whatever groundwater lies underneath and few Indian states have implemented water resources legislation.[ii] And while law does provide for the collection of a tax on water consumed by industry, the charges are so miniscule that heavy water uses like Coca-Cola can draw groundwater virtually for free. For all the water it withdrew in Mehdiganj during 2005-2006, the plant paid a water tax of just $717.57 for the year.[iii]
[i] This paper builds upon interviews with over 60 residents and activists of Mehdiganj, Uttar Pradesh, Kala Dera, Rajasthan, and Plachimada, Kerala in the spring of 2008.
[ii] Ibid., 220. A few states had instituted water policies of their own prior to this National Water Policy, for example, Uttar Pradesh in 1999.
[iii] The Easement Act of 1882 as discussed in (TERI), "Independent Third Party Assessment of Coca-Cola Facilities in India," 90. For all the water it withdrew in Mehdiganj during 2005-2006, the plant paid a water cess of just Rs. 31,573.00 or $717.57, with an average exchange rate of around Rs. 44.00/1 dollar in 2005-2006. Ibid., 223.