Foreign-owned beer companies threaten Mexico's scarce water resources

Photo thanks to Washington

Photo thanks to Washington

By David Agren in The Guardian:  

"A deal between a state government and the US’s third biggest brewer could put beer for Americans before water for Mexicans

Carmelo Gallegos used to sow wheat in the cool winters and cotton in scorching-hot summers of the Mexicali valley. These days, water is so scarce he can only plant one crop a year.

But on top of drought and a sinking water table, the 61-year old farmer now has another preoccupation. A huge brewery is being built in the nearby city of Mexicali, and Gallegos – like many others – fears it will suck up what little water remains to make beer for export to the US.

Gallegos and other farmers see themselves as the victims of an unhealthy deal between the state government of Baja California and Constellation Brands, the third biggest brewer in the US.

“They’re managing the water as if it were loot to be divvied up among them,” he said. “The government’s intention is to leave us with nothing, without land and without water.”

The new plant is projected to start production in 2019, churning out nearly 4m bottles a day of beers including Corona, Modelo and Pacífico."  Continue reading