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.