EBR Alert A regulation establishing a new water bottling charge

  Find out how you can comment on the Province of Ontario's proposal to establish a new water bottling charge.  Links and suggestions following. Continue reading

Councillor scolds Nestlé for proposed one-on-one meetings

Councillor scolds Nestlé for proposed one-on-one meetings Stephen Kitras calls one-on-one meetings between execs and councillors 'inappropriate' By Kate Bueckert, CBC News Posted: Jan 06, 2017 10:05 AM ET http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/kitchener-waterloo/nestle-centre-wellington-councillor-scolds-meetings-1.3923939 A town councillor in Centre Wellington says it is inappropriate for Nestlé Waters Canada to seek one-on-one meetings between the township's councillors and company officials. Councillor Stephen Kitras has publicly admonished Nestlé for trying to arrange one-on-one meetings with local politicians. (Township of Centre Wellington) "Nestlé contacted me and other councilors by e-mail on Dec.23 following their presentation to council where they stated, 'I am hoping to meet with you early in 2017 to discuss these ideas in further detail and solicit your feedback,'" Coun. Stephen Kitras said in a statement emailed to media outlets Thursday evening. "This is inappropriate and I will not be meeting with them personally. I support the moratorium implemented by the province. I also support an open and public process regarding this vital issue that concerns current and future water needs for our community." Kitras made the statement after two groups – SaveOurWater.CA and Wellington Water Watchers – accused Nestlé and the township of having closed door meetings about the well. Continue reading

Nestlé, township officials refute accusations of ‘back door deal’ for proposed Middlebrook well

Nestlé, township officials refute accusations of ‘back door deal’ for proposed Middlebrook well by Mike Robinson http://wellingtonadvertiser.com/comments/index.cfm?articleID=34045 ELORA - Local activists are accusing Nestlé Waters Canada of a “scheme” to “bypass” a provincial moratorium and negotiate a “back door deal” with Centre Wellington for its proposed Middlebrook well near Elora. But officials with both the company and the township are strenuously refuting those accusations. “Simply put, nothing is going on,” stated Centre Wellington Mayor Kelly Linton. On Jan. 3 Save Our Water and the Wellington Water Watchers issued a press release announcing “an urgent public meeting to expose the scheme” Nestlé is proposing to Centre Wellington." The meeting is set for Jan. 11 at 7pm at the Elora Legion. “Speakers will update the audience on what they can do to stop Nestlé’s actions to bypass the moratorium and why it is vital to halt their scheme that will jeopardize the local water supply for their own profits,” states the press release.   Continue reading

Township of Centre Wellington Resolution regarding Middlebrook Well

            Preamble and Resolution forwarded by Councillor Kirk McElwain, Township of Centre Wellington: In light of the recent moratorium by the provincial government, as described in Andy's report, I will withdraw the deferred motion and replace it with a modified motion. First, I would like to congratulate Save Our Water and Wellington Water Watchers for the outstanding work they have done to protect the water resources in Centre Wellington. Who would have thought that the small group of concerned citizens meeting in the legion about 18 months ago would successfully change the attitude of 2 levels of government and get this moratorium. Hard work and dedication has made this very encouraging action a reality but unfortunately, it's only a first step. There is much work that needs to continue. In 2 years, there will still be too many questions about the future water requirements of our community to allow the use of our groundwater for the totally consumptive use of water bottling. Our rate of growth, as projected by Places to Grow, could make Centre Wellington a city of 100,000+ by the turn of the century. Can our water supply support that type of growth? Scientists around the world are predicting more frequent. longer & more severe droughts as a result of climate change. Can our water supply support that? Hydrogeology will still not be an exact science in 2 years. There will still be a heavy reliance on subjective interpretation of the data. The scoped tier 3 will still not be complete and Centre Wellington's Water Master Plan will not even be started. Ontario's Low Water Response Program has identified the Grand River watershed as an area in Ontario most vulnerable to low water conditions. With so many unknowns that will impact our water and, knowing that we live in a fragile aquifer area, we cannot afford to gamble with the future of our residents. Therefore, I would like to make the following motion:   That the Township of Centre Wellington send letters to Premier Wynne and Minister Murray and MPP Ted Arnott: Supporting the Provinces decision to establish a moratorium on the issuance of new or increasing permits for water bottling until January 1, 2019, thereby prohibiting any new or increased use of groundwater in Ontario for bottled water, in order to allow the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change to undertake a comprehensive review of the rules that govern water bottling facilities in Ontario; and Advising the Minister that it is the position of the Township that it opposes any proposal for the use of groundwater in the Township for water bottling that would adversely impact the sustainability of the Township's water supply for its present and future needs. http://www.centrewellington.ca/ourgovernment/Pages/Mayor-and-Council.aspx http://ec4.cc/kfcb62b4a

W5 investigates: The rising value and volatility of our fresh water

www.ctvnews.ca/w5/w5-investigates-the-rising-value-and-volatility-of-our-fresh-water-1.3156623 W5 Published Saturday, November 12, 2016 7:00PM EST W5's Victor Malarek investigates how Canada's fresh water is becoming much more valuable, and the issue of selling it for profit, much more volatile. There are places in the world where wars are fought over fresh water because there's so little of it. But even in a country like Canada, which has a lot of it, water is quickly emerging as a flashpoint. Not between armies, but between corporations, towns and governments battling over a resource that has been mostly free. Watch the episode on CTV at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 12. You can also watch it above in our video player, available after 8 p.m. ET. Documents and links Water taking fees & permits to pump: Ontario water taking fees B.C. water taking fees Nestle permit to pump water in Aberfoyle Nestle permit to pump water in Erin Proposed moratoriums: Ontario government’s proposed two year moratorium on water takings Nestlé’s response to Ontario’s proposed moratorium

Proposed Moratorium Comments for EBR Electronic Registry

The Proposed Moratorium, what it means, and what we have to do! The provincial government has listened to the citizens! As residents concerned about the water issues in our area and in Ontario, SaveOurWater.CA applauds the Ministry’s proposal for a two-year moratorium. This time period will allow for new improved policies and regulations to be put in place with regard to permits for water bottling companies using groundwater.  It also allows Municipal and Regional governments time to update their plans and catch up to the new water reality in Ontario, Nationally and Globally. The moratorium means there is no possibility of a pump test at the Middlebrook well until January 2019! We appreciate that the proposed moratorium was posted on the Environmental Bill of Rights Registry, allowing the opportunity for public comment. Now is the time to have your voice heard to safeguard our water! Please support the moratorium! Please take a moment to craft your comment to the Ministry in support of the moratorium and what changes you want to see in a revamped permitting process. Use the comments below as suggestions for your own personal statements. Commenting period ends December 1, 2016.   Continue reading

Ontario seeks to put a cap on water bottle industry with two-year ban

Ontario seeks to put a cap on water bottle industry with two-year ban https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/oct/17/ontario-bottled-water-operations-moratorium?CMP=share_btn_tw Officials say moratorium would give province time to better understand state of groundwater supplies amid climate change threat and increasing population The Ontario government has proposed a two-year moratorium on the creation or expansion of bottled water operations fed by groundwater in the Canadian province, in a bid to strike a balance between a burgeoning bottled water industry, a growing population and the effects of climate change. The province vowed to take action earlier this year after a severe drought prompted questions over regulations that allowed bottled water to draw millions of litres a day of water from the province. “Water bottling is a different kind of industry and we need to treat it differently,” Kathleen Wynne, Ontario’s premier, said as she promised to update the government’s policies. “Thirty years ago, we wouldn’t have envisioned an industry that took water and put it in plastic bottles so that people could carry it around.” Liquid assets: how the business of bottled water went mad | Sophie Elmhirst Read more On Monday, officials said the proposed moratorium would offer them time to gain a better grasp on the current state of groundwater supplies in Ontario and ensure the province has the resources needed to meet the dual challenges of climate change and increasing population. “With a changing climate, and specifically with the impacts from drought and increasing population growth, we want to work with the people of Ontario to make sure we are properly protecting this vital resource,” said Glen Murray, Ontario’s minister of the environment and climate change. The regulations also seek stricter controls on existing bottled water operations, including shortening the duration of permits that are handed out, from 10 years to five years, and imposing mandatory reductions during times of drought. The suggested changes, which are open to public comment for the next 45 days, will be paired with an evaluation of the prices currently being charged to bottled water companies. Right now the province charges C$3.71 for every million litres of water, along with a permit fee of up to C$3,000 depending on the risk of environmental impact. The growing tension between bottled water companies and local communities seeking to shore up their water supply was laid bare last month after authorities in a small, fast-growing southern Ontario township said Nestlé, the food and drinks multinational, had purchased a spring water well the township had been eyeing. Monday’s proposed changes mean Nestlé will have to wait until 2019 to test the quality and quantity of the water in its newly acquired spring water well. On its website, the company noted that the well was purchased to supplement other operations in the region, as well as support future business growth. Nestlé Canada currently has permits that allow it to extract up to 4.7m litres of water a day from sources in Ontario. On Monday, Nestlé said it welcomed the proposed regulations. “We as a company – and our hundreds of employees in south-western Ontario – are pleased with the direction the government is taking,” the company said in a statement. “We will continue to work with local and provincial governments, environmental agencies and community groups, our employees, as well as local residents on a thorough approach to water resource management to ensure the community’s needs come first.” Canadian town steams over Nestlé bid to control local spring water well Read more The government’s proposal was also welcomed by Environmental Defence, one of the many groups that has been calling for stricter regulation of the bottled water industry. “Climate change and population growth mean that Ontario’s water is going to be under increasing stress in the years ahead,” said Keith Brooks of the group. “The government is right to single out water bottlers and to take action to protect water.” The group was hopeful that the changes would help ensure the community, agricultural and ecosystem needs were prioritised over those of water bottlers and suggested the government could also introduce measures to address the up to one billion plastic bottles that end up in Ontario landfills, streets and rivers each year. The group also highlighted the government’s willingness to evaluate its pricing for the bottled water industry. “We look forward to the discussion on the low fees charged to water bottlers,” said Brooks. “The C$3.71 per million litres currently paid by water bottling companies is laughable.”

Ontario Taking Action to Protect Clean Water

https://news.ontario.ca/ene/en/2016/10/ontario-taking-action-to-protect-clean-water.html Ontario Taking Action to Protect Clean Water Province Proposes Two Year Moratorium on New and Expanded Water Bottling Operations October 17, 2016 9:30 A.M. Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change Ontario is taking action to protect the province's water resources for future generations by proposing a two-year moratorium on new or expanded water takings from groundwater by bottling companies, as well as stricter rules for renewals of existing permits. The proposed moratorium is the first of a number of steps the province will be taking to further protect Ontario's clean water. It will apply to every water bottling facility that takes groundwater and is required to have a permit under the Ontario Water Resources Act.  Proposed rules would reduce the duration of permit renewal applications from 10 years to a maximum of five years, as well as require increased public transparency, new operating guidelines, mandatory reductions on water taking during drought and further scientific studies. As part of Ontario's ongoing efforts to protect its water resources, the government is also closely examining how pricing and other tools could be used to help manage and protect the province's water resources, and will provide an update later this fall. While the proposed moratorium is in place, Ontario also plans to: Undertake research to improve understanding of groundwater in Ontario Review existing rules for adequate protection of groundwater for future generations Receive public input and feedback on Ontario's current groundwater permitting process and groundwater management moving forward. In the face of climate change, population growth, increasing water consumption and drought, concerns around water security have risen. Ontario's ongoing plan to protect groundwater resources is essential to the health and integrity of the province's ecosystems and communities. Managing our water resources responsibly is part of our plan to create jobs, grow our economy and help people in their everyday lives. Quick Facts Ontarians can comment on the proposed two-year moratorium through the Environmental Registry until Dec. 1, 2016. The proposed moratorium would take effect on the date the regulation is filed. Groundwater is water held underground in the soil or in pores and crevices in rock. Ontario’s drinking water is among the best protected in the world. Approximately 34 per cent of plastic bottles are not recycled and end up in landfill. Plastic bottles may take up to 1,000 years to decompose. Filling a glass or reusable container helps cut back on plastics and pollution. Additional Resources Ontario’s Permit to Take Water Program Ontario’s Drinking Water Ontario’s Great Lakes Strategy 2016 Progress Report Ontario’s Climate Change Action Plan Quotes “Water is essential for the well-being and economic strength in our communities. With a changing climate, and specifically with the impacts from drought and increasing population growth, we want to work with the people of Ontario to make sure that we are properly protecting this vital resource.” Glen R. Murray Minister of the Environment and Climate Change Save

Ontario to impose stricter rules for bottled water company permits

https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2016/10/17/ontario-to-impose-stricter-rules-for-bottled-water-company-permits.html Ontario to impose stricter rules for bottled water company permits The province is suggesting a two-year hold on the creation or expansion of bottled water companies during the process. By Keith LeslieThe Canadian Press Mon., Oct. 17, 2016 Ontario is proposing a two-year hold on the creation or expansion of bottled water plants as the government moves to strengthen the rules around water taking permits. The Canadian Press has learned the province plans to impose stricter scientific requirements for water taking permits such as studies on the cumulative impact of the practice on local supplies, especially during droughts. A source familiar with the announcement says the Liberals also want more public transparency, and will mandate that companies create websites listing information about their water taking permits and showing the actual amounts taken every week. However, there will not be any immediate increase in the $3.71 the province charges for every one million litres of water taken, which the source says the government is still reviewing. The Liberals want to address issues around water taking as they relate to their fight against climate change, which experts believe is leading to more severe weather conditions, including droughts. And they believe the changes being proposed will help address the public’s concerns about safe and secure supplies of drinking water. The province wants to make it mandatory for bottled water companies to reduce water takings during droughts like the one experienced this year in Wellington county, 100 kilometres west of Toronto. Nestle voluntarily reduced the amount of water it takes from its wells in the region this year when the Level 2 drought forced local residents to restrict water use on lawns and for washing cars. The government will post its proposed changes for water taking permits on the Environmental Bill of Rights Registry Monday for 45 days of public comment. The proposal to pause any new bottling operations in Ontario means Nestle would not be allowed to apply for a permit at a new well it purchased in Centre Wellington that the township had wanted for its drinking water. Mayor Kelly Linton said last week that Nestle did nothing wrong because it followed the existing rules, which he called on the province to change so municipalities get a better chance at securing a safe drinking water supply than a bottling company. Nestle would still be able to renew its permits to take up to 3.6 million litres of water a day from its well in Aberfoyle, where it has a bottling plant, and another 1.1 million litres a day at a well in nearby Erin, another community in Wellington county. Premier Kathleen Wynne ordered a review of the province’s water taking permits to be completed this fall, and said she wants new rules just for bottled water companies. “Water bottling is a different kind of industry and we need to treat it differently, Wynne said earlier this month. In addition to the $3.71 per million litres, Ontario charges companies a permit fee of $750 for low- or medium-risk water takings, or $3,000 for those considered a high risk to cause an adverse environmental impact. Ontario’s environmental commissioner says 30 per cent of the water taking permits are in the highest risk category. British Columbia charges $2.50 for every million litres, while Quebec charges $70. Municipalities, mines, construction companies and golf courses — in addition to the water-bottling companies — are allowed to take a total of 1.4 trillion litres out of Ontario’s surface and ground water supplies every day. Save

Nestlé outbids Ontario community on well purchase

Friday, September 23, 2016, 8:28 PM - Bottled water giant Nestlé has outbid a small Ontario community for the purchase of a well in the area, prompting the mayor to call for more local control. The Township of Central Wellington, which includes Elora and Fergus, jumped at the chance to put in a bid on a well at Middlebrook, on which Nestlé had earlier made a conditional offer.