September 22, 2023 — Courthouse News reports that on Tuesday this week, the California State Water Resources Control Board issued a cease-and-desist order to BlueTriton Brands, Arrowhead’s parent company, halting some of its water-bottling functions in San Bernardino County. This action, which was unanimous, followed complaints filed in 2015-2017 against BlueTriton’s predecessor, Nestlé Waters North America, for alleged unlawful water diversion from the Strawberry Creek watershed and related allegations. The order doesn’t affect the company’s water-diversion for other purposes in the area or its obligations to the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians for the Arrowhead Springs Hotel property.
BlueTriton is prohibited from diverting water through specific tunnels and boreholes for its “Arrowhead Brand 100% Mountain Spring Water.” It affects 10 out of 13 of the company’s diversion sites. The company is mandated to maintain flow meters, records, and submit monthly reports on the diversions.
Arrowhead water traces back to the 1800s, starting as a spa that grew to a hotel and resort. The bottling of “Arrowhead Springs” water began in 1906 by Seth Marshall after the hotel burned down and was rebuilt. The brand underwent several business transitions and name changes, with Nestlé converting to BlueTriton in 2021 following an acquisition.
In a 2022 administrative hearing, it was determined that ten of the thirteen diversion sites came under the water board’s jurisdiction, and that BlueTriton couldn’t prove any pre-1914 rights to Arrowhead Springs Water by its predecessors.