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Town loses to Nestle in bid to buy well to secure water supply

Centre Wellington Mayor Kelly Linton. (Township of Centre Wellington)

The CBC is reporting more details about the purchase of the Middlebrook well by bottled water giant Nestle.  They interviewed Mayor Kerry Linton of the Township of Centre Wellington about the township’s attempt to purchase the well themselves to secure their municipal water needs in the near future

The article reports: “Nestlé had a conditional offer on the property and was waiting for the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change to give them permission to perform an official pump test – something the company has been waiting on for months. But the offer by Centre Wellington forced their hand – the company had just 20 days to decide if they would waive the conditions and go ahead with the sale.

“We didn’t really know what Nestlé would do. We had a lot of discussion about it. It was a very serious offer we put forward – it was a no conditions attached, serious money offer, and we knew one of the conditions Nestlé had was the results of the pump test. So we weren’t sure if they would agree to purchase the property without getting any results back,” Linton said.

“We are in a heavy growth mode,” he said, with more people living and working in the township. The municipality will need to find another source of water in the next decade, he said.

Buying the Middlebrook property “meant that we could guarantee that commercial water taking would not negatively impact our water source, but we wouldn’t have done it just to block [Nestlé],” he said.

The future of water in the community is a concern to residents – many have spoken out against Nestlé coming into the area. Local water advocates have said while a pump test of the Middlebrook property would be welcome so they can fully understand what the well holds, they don’t want the water giant to take water from it.”

The Middlebrook well and Nestle’s other wells that currently supply their bottling plant in Aberfoyle are all under a Level 2 drought restriction due to an extended period of lower than average rainfall.

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.

And read our blog from earlier this week:  http://canadians.org/blog/nestle-buys-more-groundwater-drought-rages-southern-ontario