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Nestle buys more groundwater as drought rages on in Southern Ontario

In the middle of a severe drought in southern Ontario, the bottled water giant Nestle is buying up more groundwater sources and now has permits from the Ontario government to remove a total of over 20 million litres of water per day!

A Canadian Press article reports :  “Environmentalists are urging the Ontario government against renewing one of Nestle’s water-taking permits in a southwestern Ontario town, saying “water should be for life, not for profit.” Wellington Water Watchers says the permit for Nestle Waters in Aberfoyle, Ont., expired on July 31, but the company has been allowed to keep extracting water from a local well even in the midst of a severe drought.

The group says the Ministry of Environment did not post Nestle’s renewal application for the usual 30 days of public comment, and instead granted the company an automatic extension without consulting people who live in the area.”

Wellington Water Watchers reports that the aquifer that supplies the Nestlé production well has declined about 1.5 m from 2011 to 2015 while Nestlé’s water taking increased 33 % over the same period.

Today, we learned that Nestle has bought up another well- near Elora, Ontario- despite the local municipality’s attempt to purchase it to prevent the groundwater from being extracted for bottling.

Ontario charges companies $3.71 for every million litres of water they extract- a total of less than $75 per day for their total permits of 20,000,000 litres of groundwater.

For more information, please visit http://www.saveourwater.ca/  which is an alliance of local groups including our (Centre Wellington chapter) fighting to protect area groundwater.