This original article by Mike Robinson appeared in the Wellington Advertiser here

ELORA – Local residents say they are stepping up efforts to keep Nestlé Waters out of the community.

On April 23, SaveOurWater invited all “water allies” to join an Earth Day celebration at the Elora Greenspace for the launch of the “Water for Life, Blue Ribbon campaign.”

The event also was a chance for people to visit SaveOurWater’s new campaign office at 71A Metcalfe St., in Elora. came into being in April 2015 when a group residents decided that Nestlé should never be permitted to take water from the local area.

Nestlé Waters Canada is currently in the application stage for an aquifer pump test at the Middlebrook well. If the test results meet Nestlé’s standards, the company plans to apply for a permit to take water from the Middlebrook well with a maximum daily amount of 1.6 million litres.

This water would be pumped into water tankers and trucked about 40 kilometres to its bottling plant in Aberfoyle.

Opponents say Nestlé’s extraction is a risk to an area already identified as potentially at risk for water security.

Centre Wellington, with a current population just over 26,000, is mandated by the provincial Places to Grow Act to grow by 40 per cent over the next 25 years.

“If we are to ensure that future generations have the clean tap water, healthy rivers and stunning waterscapes that we now enjoy, then we must act now,” said Libby Carlaw, spokesperson for SaveOurWater.

“SaveOurWater is working with water allies near and far to stop Nestlé from taking our water – for us and for you, and for the future.”

SaveOurWater officials say they are working closely with Wellington Water Watchers to safeguard Centre Wellington’s groundwater, on which the ecosystem relies.

Donna McCaw said the group is asking people to take action and help them. The group is inviting residents to write, email or phone Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, Ontario Minister of the Environment and Climate Change Glenn Murray, or Guelph MPP Liz Sandals.

In addition, SaveOurWater is selling blue water pins and ribbons that can be tied around trees or doors.

McCaw said this is not just a local issue, but one affecting the county, provincial, national and international stage.

The current campaign was inspired by community organzer Mike Balkwill, who spoke  to the group in February of previous community campaigns he fought with – and won.

On April 23 Wellington County councillor Shawn Watters announced his support for the efforts of SaveOurWater to preserve Centre Wellington’s water for its citizens.

The announcement launched the group’s the Water for Life, Blue Ribbon campaign in Elora’s Greenspace on Saturday afternoon.


This original article appeared on CBC here

Des résidents d’Elora dans la région de Guelph s’opposent à ce que Nestlé achète une usine locale et obtienne un permis pour exploiter un puits. Nestlé souhaite l’utiliser pour alimenter son usine d’embouteillage à une trentaine de kilomètres d’Elora.

Dans cette petite ville idyllique au nord-ouest de Toronto, de nombreux résidents ont leur propre puits. Une source d’eau précieuse, mais limitée, explique Lindsay Boger, qui a déjà vu son puits à sec.
Les résidents craignent l’impact de l’exploitation de Nestlé sur la qualité et la quantité d’eau de la nappe phréatique. Selon eux, les autorités n’ont pas toutes les données en main pour pourvoir évaluer l’impact que pourrait avoir un tel projet.

Pour le moment, Nestlé a déposé une offre conditionnelle sur le puits. La compagnie réalise des tests pour mieux évaluer le potentiel de la source. Elle ajoute que la question de la durabilité la préoccupe tout autant que les résidents.

Nestlé attend la permission du gouvernement provincial pour pouvoir aller de l’avant avec des tests de pompage sur une période de 30 jours, afin d’avoir une meilleure idée de la durabilité du puits. La compagnie espère obtenir le permis pour commencer les essais dans les prochains mois.
Avec un reportage de Sara-Christine Gemson