In addition to the urgent societal issues associated with the proposed water taking at Middlebrook, Centre Wellington has concerns for its current water system. The urban area (Fergus and Elora) was mandated in 2016 to double in population to 44,690 by 2041 under Ontario’s Places to Grow Act. This decision triggered a critical need to secure new water sources for a growing population. With 1 in 7 urban residences still on private wells, water infrastructure must support a 116% increase in population.
In July 2016, Centre Wellington attempted to purchase the Middlebrook Well and Property in Elora to ensure a future water source for the community’s drinking water needs. This property was located within reasonable proximity to the urban core, requiring reduced infrastructure costs to connect the water source to the municipal system. Nestlé Waters Canada (“Nestlé”) immediately exercised its previously acquired option to purchase the Middlebrook Property, and proposed the extraction of 1.6 million litres of water a day. This water would be trucked to its water bottling facility 40 km away in Guelph. The proposed volume is approximately equivalent to the current daily water use in Elora. Nestlé’s application for a Permit to Take Water has been on hold under Ontario’s moratorium on water bottling permits scheduled to expire on October 1, 2020.
This report explains why granting Nestlé’s application for a Permit to Take Water should be denied. For the full report, click here.