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Aquablue to bottle and export 340 million litres of municipal water a year

Update: The Ottawa Citizen reports today that “Aquablue plans to bottle 340 million litres of water a year. (Aquablue president Dan) Villeneuve said no permit will be needed to export Smiths Falls bottled water… (mostly to the United States and to the Middle East).”


The Ottawa Citizen and CBC Radio are now reporting on the Aquablue International media conference this morning in Smiths Falls, Ontario.

The Council of Canadians has been raising questions about Aquablue International’s plans for a bottled water plant in that community and were informed late yesterday that we would be denied access to today’s media conference.

Here are the questions we have raising and what we know now from these media reports.

1. Where will the water be taken from?
CBC Radio reports that 90 percent of the water will come from the municipal water system in Smiths Falls and 10 percent will be spring water from Hawkesbury, Ontario.

2. Has there been an environmental impact assessment and will it be made public?
The media reports provide no answer on this.

3. How much water does the company plan to extract?
This question was not answered, but the Ottawa Citizen has reported that Aquablue International president Dan “Villeneuve said, the water-bottling operation will use less water even than the Hershey candy plant.”

4. Will the factory be producing single-use bottles of water?
Yes, but since “some Canadian authorities, such as school boards and municipal councils, are forbidding the sale of bottled water on their premises for these reasons. Aquablue also intends to produce and stock vending machines that will dispense ‘enhanced water’ and fruit juices into purchasers’ own bottles or cups.”

5. What will the market be? Will the water be exported?
“The Canadian company intends to export water from Smiths Falls, mostly to the United States and to the Middle East, Villeneuve said.”

6. How many jobs will be created?
“Dan Villeneuve said (Aquablue International) hopes to begin hiring 130 bottling-plant workers in January or February, and also to construct an amusement centre in 2011 that will employ a further 60.”

“Also in the plans are a recycling facility, though it’s not yet clear how many people might work there.”

7. How long does the company plan to operate in the community?
The media reports provide no answer on this.

Our media release ‘Council of Canadians denied access to Aquablue press conference’ is at http://canadians.org/media/water/2009/18-June-09.html.

The Ottawa Citizen report can be read at http://www.ottawacitizen.com/Water+bottling+operation+Smiths+Falls+hire+president+says/1709249/story.html.

Our campaign blog ‘Aquablue International to set up in Smiths Falls, Ontario’ is at http://canadians.org/campaignblog/?p=554.