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Barlow says Nestle water-takings “a bad use of water”

Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow was on The National last night highlighting our opposition to Nestle water-takings.

In response to public outrage over Nestle’s application to the provincial government for a 10-year permit to take 3.6 million litres a day from two wells for its bottled water plant in Aberfoyle (in southern Ontario) along with the company’s plans to extract 1.6 million litres a day from a well it has just bought in Elora (located about 40 kilometres northwest of Aberfoyle), Premier Kathleen Wynne has promised a review of the bottled water industry and the $3.71 fee it pays for every million litres of water it extracts.

The National reports, “It’s not enough for The Council of Canadians. The national lobby group is calling for a boycott of Nestle. ‘This is a bad use of our water. Canada has a coming water crisis. People don’t understand this, but they will in time. And we mustn’t be letting our water be used this way’, [says Barlow].”

That news segment can be viewed here.

USA Today also reported on our boycott campaign yesterday. Barlow is quoted in their news story saying, “The water crisis is at our door here in Canada. Wasting our limited groundwater on frivolous and consumptive uses such as bottled water is a recipe for disaster.”

Meanwhile, both the Guelph and Centre Wellington chapters were at their city halls last night calling on their municipal councils to pass resolutions against Nestle water-takings in their communities.

This morning, CBC reports, “Residents in Guelph who are eager to speak out about local companies bottling water and shipping it out of the area will have their chance to address council in a little over a month. Council agreed Monday night to allow delegates to speak at the Nov. 7 committee meeting. It came after Coun. James Gordon put forward a motion to have the city ask the province to stop Nestle from operating in Aberfoyle. His initial motion was amended to include the date, which was chosen because staff had indicated there may be a report ready at that time.”

It is also hoped that the Township of Centre Wellington will pass a similar resolution. The township had tried to purchase the well in Elora, but Nestle outbid the community and now owns the well. Mayor Kelly Linton has stated, “[Having that well would have] meant that we could guarantee that commercial water taking would not negatively impact our water source.”

To sign our boycott pledge to stop Nestle profiting from water, please click here. That pledge, which was launched by Barlow last Thursday evening at a public meeting in Guelph, has now been signed by almost 12,000 people.