Nestle Waters North America has condemned a ruling by a judge earlier this week saying it can no longer draw water for its Ice Mountain bottled water brand from wells in a Michigan county.

The ruling was the result of a lawsuit filed by environmentalists who said the water-bottling operation was depleting neighbouring lakes, streams and wetlands.

But Nestle has said it will pursue "all legal means" to appeal the decision handed down today by Mecosta County Circuit Judge Lawrence Root.

"This ruling is extreme, and holds serious and far-reaching implications," said Michael Haines, attorney representing Nestle Waters North America. "If Ice Mountain's insignificant effect is considered a violation of MEPA (Michigan Environmental Protection Act), then what water user - industrial, commercial, golf course or farmer - would not be in similar violation? Even more, this ruling turns the state's long-standing policy on water use on its head, jeopardizing thousands of businesses and jobs throughout the state.

"We will pursue all legal means to appeal this erroneous decision, defend our position and obtain relief from this extreme and unwarranted ruling."

He continued: "The company strongly maintains its position that scientific evidence shows its water withdrawals do not, and are not likely to, cause adverse environmental impact. Ice Mountain complies with all Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) standards for water withdrawals. The court's decision, however, challenges the framework the MDEQ uses for regulating wetlands and surface waters, and rules it illegal.