This controversy is a water wake-up call to protect every creek, wetland, watershed and aquifer, and the ecosystems they support.
“Every gallon of water that is taken out of a natural system for bottled water is a gallon of water that doesn’t flow down a stream, that doesn’t support a natural ecosystem,” says Peter Gleik, author of “Bottled and Sold.”
Add to this the carbon footprint and environmental effects of trucking vast volumes of water needlessly to places where billions are already spent to ensure universal access to reliably clean water. Carbon emissions, climate change and a planet choking in plastic are all tied to this industry.
2. To protect our community’s water future
The Mayor and Council of the Township of Centre Wellington resolved to work with the Province to ensure water is ‘a public trust’, giving the municipality and public needs a higher priority than a foreign multi-national bottling company.
Centre Wellington, designated by the Province as a ‘Place to Grow’, is targeted to double its population by 2041. This means that over 22,000 more residents will need water. We rely entirely on groundwater!
The Province cannot have it both ways, mandating accelerated growth specifically for this municipality, while giving away 1.6 million litres of water from our community every day, the same volume of water that three of our eight municipal wells supply daily.
“Water taking at the Middlebrook site will directly compete with the Township’s ability to expand its well system to support the allocated population growth in Fergus-Elora”, (Hunter report, 2016).
3. To protect the economy
Farms need water. Industry needs water. Businesses need water.
Centre Wellington has a water issue, and therefore could not attract a food processing business, for example. We want to protect farm businesses and attract environmentally sound new industries that offer jobs and pay taxes, here.
We support water use by municipalities, agriculture, local industries, and by any other purposes where water returns to the ground or rivers and is not trucked out of the local watershed it emerges from.
The Ontario Clean Water Act (2006) states: “An activity that takes water from an aquifer or a surface water body without returning the water taken to the same aquifer or surface water body” is a drinking water threat. Almost none of the water that Nestlé takes will be returned to the same aquifer.