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Nestlé bottled water found in stores thousands of kilometres from controversial well sites

Nestlé Aberfoyle

Nestlé Pure Life brand bottled water from Aberfoyle, Ontario has been traced thousands of kilometres across the country by the Council of Canadians.

Local chapters of the Council of Canadians reported finding the bottles for sale as far away as St. John’s, Newfoundland – 3,147 kilometres from the source of the water. Council chapters in Montreal, Thunder Bay, and Bridgewater, Nova Scotia also found bottled water from Aberfoyle for sale in their communities.

Nestlé Pure Life brand bottled water from Hope, B.C. (Nestlé’s only other bottling plant in Canada) was found for sale by chapters as far away as Yellowknife (2,126 km) and Winnipeg (2,144 km).

“We have wonderful tap water in St. John’s, so the idea of buying bottled water that has been shipped thousands of kilometres from Ontario is a bit of a head scratcher,” says Andrea Furlong of the St. John’s Chapter of the Council of Canadians. “The impact of water extraction on the source aquifer is real and so is the amount of oil burnt up transporting it all the way to St. John’s with a bunch of useless plastic waste. And for what? For the privilege of paying an astronomical markup to drink water that’s not half as good or as fresh as what comes out of our taps for next to nothing? Why pay for water twice?”

Nestlé’s Aberfoyle plant is the largest bottled water production facility in Canada. The Swiss company’s permit to pump 3.6 million litres of groundwater per day from the Guelph-Amabel Aquifer is expired and under review by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change. Nestlé has another permit allowing it to extract up to 1.1 million litres per day from a well 40 kilometres away in Hillsburgh. That permit expires at the end of July.

“Nestlé keeps extracting and wasting this precious resource despite recurring droughts in Southern Ontario and throughout B.C.,” says Emma Lui, Water Campaigner for the Council of Canadians. “Groundwater resources are finite. Droughts, climate change and over-extraction continue to impact our limited water sources. At this pace, communities will not have enough for their future needs.”

The Council of Canadians is calling for a phase-out of current water permits for producing single-serving, disposable bottled water products and a permanent moratorium on the issuing of any new permits for the same purpose.

Source Found for sale in Store Distance by road and ferry
Hope, BC Yellowknife, NT Independent Grocers 2,126 km
  Winnipeg, MB Co-Op 2,144 km
  Archerwill, SK Co-Op 1,646 km
  Yorkton, SK Walmart / Save On Foods 1,704 km
  Melville, SK Extra Foods 1,868 km
  Red Deer, AB Sobey’s 958 km
  Edmonton, AB Shell gas station 1,009 km
Aberfoyle, ON St John’s, NL Dominion 3,147 km
  Bridgewater, NS Canadian Superstore 1,939 km
  Dartmouth, NS Walmart 1,851 km
  Thunder Bay, ON Walmart 1,428 km
  Montreal, QC IGA 605 km
  Ottawa, ON Loblaws 512 km
  Cobourg, ON Foodland / No Frills 179 km

The Council of Canadians has 60 volunteer chapters from coast to coast to coast working with frontline community groups such as Wellington Water Watchers who are fighting to protect local groundwater from Nestlé.