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Ontario to decide in mid-November on Nestle water-testing permit in Elora

Screenshot of video

The fight in Elora, Ontario against Nestle Waters is now getting national media attention.

CBC reports, “Residents of a southern Ontario town are worried Nestlé Water Canada’s plan to pump up to 1.6 million litres of water per day from a nearby aquifer could leave them high and dry. Nestlé Waters Canada, a subsidiary of the transnational Nestlé company, has conditionally bought an existing well near Elora, Ont. — a small town on the Grand River located about 115 kilometres west of Toronto — that taps into a major aquifer, or underground layer of water. The company hopes to eventually pump water from the aquifer and sell it in the Canadian market, where some 2.4 billion litres of bottled water are sold each year, often at prices similar to gasoline.”

The article highlights, “The company’s plan to operate the well still needs approval from Ontario’s Ministry of Environment, but at a recent meeting Elora residents voiced their outrage and disbelief that the province might allow it.” That forum with about 300 people took place on Wednesday October 28 and was organized by our new Council of Canadians Centre Wellington chapter. The featured speakers were Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow, Centre Wellington chapter activist Diane Ballantyne, our ally Mike Nagy from Wellington Water Watchers, and a representative from the local group Save Our Water.

In terms of where this issue stands now, CBC notes, “Nestlé hopes to start testing the aquifer as soon as the province gives it the green light. …Elora Mayor Kelly Linton said the community has already sent its concerns to Environment Minister Glen Murray. …Ontario’s Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, meanwhile, pointed out that the company has only applied for a short-term water-taking permit for pumping tests at this time. …The province is set to decide on Nestlé’s application in mid-November.” The application seeks to draw 300 US gallons per minute over 30 days of testing, and possibly an additional 30 days of quality testing.

To tell Environment Minister Glen Murray that Nestlé should not be granted the water-taking permit for pumping tests (nor for a longer-term water-taking permit), please submit a comment to the Ontario Environmental Registry. The public comment period runs from October 1 to November 15, 2015.

To watch the 4-minute CBC News report, view below or click here.

Further reading
Centre Wellington chapter hosts Maude Barlow talk opposing Nestle in Elora (Oct. 28, 2015 blog)
Council of Canadians set to battle Nestle’s expansion plans in southern Ontario (Oct. 4, 2015 blog)