Fears of Bottling Missoula Water for Export Arise in Condemnation Trial
During the Mountain Water Company condemnation trial on Friday, March 27, Karen Knudsen, Executive Director of the Clark Fork Coalition, offered some surprising testimony about the possible bottling of Missoula water for export. Knudsen says she became concerned after a May meeting with Mountain Water President John Kappas.
"Mr. Kappas informed me that Carlyle would be willing to transfer the reassurances: the resource stipulation in the 2011 letter agreement with the exception of the clause that would prevent bottling," Knudsen said.
"Did he give you any indication that that was a possible development that had been discussed by Carlyle or Mountain Water?" questioned the city attorney.
"Yes, he said it was under discussion," Knudsen responded.
Knudsen went on to say that she was startled at the revelation.
"I was taken aback," Knudsen said. "I did not expect to have this put in front of me given the fact that we had been having conversations about water stewardship for two or almost three years, and bottling was a huge concern of the Clark Fork Coalitions and we had been on record expressing that concern in 2011, so I was rather startled that that would be excluded from the reassurances."
Knudsen indicated that the Clark Fork Coalition believes that the city would be able to better manage the water system and that she fears fears Algonquin Water may try to bottle in the future.