Nestle Waters has responded to claims that it is unfairly profiting from a spring water source in Florida in the US.

Local water-management district staff have reportedly said that, due to droughts in the state, the amount of water drawn by the company from Madison Blue Spring in Florida should be cut by more than two-thirds. The Suwannee River Water Management District has also claimed that Nestle Waters paid just US$230 for a permit to pump water from the spring, located near the state border with Georgia, until 2018.

Speaking to just-drinks yesterday (1 April) a spokesperson for the company said that it is permitted by the state of Florida to use "just over 2m gallons of water per day from Madison Blue Spring, adding that "this is not a lot of water. There are individual dairy farms that use just as much. Many businesses and farms use much more. "

The spokesperson for Nestle said: "The state charges a fee to apply for the permit, but does not charge anyone - individual or business - for the water use itself. Nestlé Waters was treated the same as other businesses. As a result of what water we do use, Nestlé Waters provides 1,000 high-wage jobs with benefits in Florida. In addition, the company pays millions of dollars each year in state and local taxes."