All of ‘CW’ affected

All of ‘CW’ affected

Dear Editor:

Water is nature’s lifeblood. The Township of Centre Wellington (CW), however, is in danger of losing access to this precious resource. All of CW should be concerned about this potential problem.

Water is provided to Fergus and Elora through a large looped system that links both communities. Fergus wells and Elora wells all contribute to the same water supply, and so we all drink from the same source wells. Currently these wells produce enough water for the needs of CW.

But population growth is coming because the government of Ontario has mandated that Wellington County will be a “place to grow”. The county government must allocate this new growth to specific locations within its borders, CW being one of the largest recipients of this population increase. Centre Wellington will need a lot more water. There is more good water under CW, but will we get to use it?

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Almost all of Nestle’s water leaves the local watershed, whereas our municipal water is used, treated and put back into local environment to be reused and recycled, possibly many times.

The Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change is currently trying to make a decision on whether or not to grant Nestle a permit to begin pumping water, for testing purposes, from the Middlebrook well south of Elora. This is the first step in a process that could give Nestle the right to pump up to 1.6 million litres of our water per day, almost free, and sell it at a price that could produce a profit of possibly one million dollars per day. From this CW gets no positive benefits. It does get added truck traffic, noise, pollution and maintenance costs for road and bridge degradation. If Nestle gets its permits, CW will never get access to that water source for its own use. By law any pumping by CW that would interfere with Nestle’s established water taking would not be allowed.

We in Fergus and Elora will be affected if the wrong decision is made by the government. Write a letter, or send an email, and check out the “Save Our Water” website. Make your concerns known to those who can help us keep our water.

Dave Blacklock, FERGUS