Aberfoyle, Ontario – Today at approximately 12:15 p.m. ET, international bottled water giant Nestlé is expected to extract the one billionth litre of water from their Aberfoyle well since the Permit to Take Water from that location expired on July 31, 2016.
The Council of Canadians and Wellington Water Watchers are demanding that the Ontario government phase out permits used by all companies in the province that are producing single-serving, disposable bottled water products and to deny all applications for any new permits from bottled water companies indefinitely.
The expired permit for Nestlé’s Aberfoyle well allowed the extraction of up to 3.6 million litres a day. Nestlé has a second permit allowing it to pump 1.1 million litres per day from a nearby well in Erin, which expired on August 31, 2017.
“Droughts, climate change and over-extraction continue to impact our finite groundwater sources,” says Maude Barlow, Honorary Chairperson of the Council of Canadians. “We need to move to a bottled water free future to protect aquifers that communities rely on for drinking water.”
The vast majority of the water Nestlé takes is shipped out of the watershed, never to return to replenish the aquifer. Council of Canadians chapters have tracked Nestlé bottled water from Aberfoyle thousands of kilometers away – as far as Newfoundland and Labrador.
“A poll commissioned by the Wellington Water Watchers in 2016 found that a majority of Ontarians support phasing-out groundwater-taking for bottling, regardless of their political party affiliation,” says Mike Nagy, Chair of the Wellington Water Watchers. “Over 70% of undecided voters support the phase-out.”
At least 9,492 Council of Canadians supporters across Ontario have sent letters to their Members of Provincial Parliament about Nestlé continuing to bottle and sell groundwater taken under expired permits.
The timing of the extraction of the one billionth litre was arrived at by totalling daily extraction figures from Aug 1st 2016 to Dec 31 2016 (p87- 91 TABLE C1 TW3-80 DAILY WATER TAKING) and the estimated average monthly totals for the months of January to July from the years 2014-16 (Page 55 TW3-80 MONTHLY WATER TAKING (2012 TO 2016), published by Nestle on its website.
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