In the last blog we took a look at Water, Bottles , and Big Business..and now this just in.
Environmentalists are asking the Ontario Gov’t to not renew one of Nestle’s water taking permits in a southwestern town , saying “water should be for life, not for profits.
The permit for Nestle Waters in Aberfoyle, Ont., expired July 31st, but the company has been allowed to continue taking water even in the midst of a severe drought. The company was granted an automatic extension by the Ministry of Environment, without the usual 30 days of public comment. the ministry says a renewal application was received within 90 days of the expiry and so water can continue to be withdrawn pending renewal.
Further study and consultations are ahead before the the permit application is made. So what is at stake?
From a Ministry website Nestle Canada has 3 permits that allow it to take 8.3 million litres a day for bottling. Nestle Waters Canada, a division of Nestle Canada has other water permits that allow it to take another 12 million litres of water per day. Nestle is not alone in the taking and bottling of water with three other companies with permits to remove approx 17.5 million litres of water per day.
Ontario charges $3.71per million litres of water per day., after a permit fee of $750 for low to medium risk water takings or $3000 for higher risk takings. Doing some quick math shows that charge for the water is a mere drop in the bucket. There is a recommendation to increase the charge, with no result yet. At $3.71 per million litre charge recovers only 1.2% of the governments water quantity management costs.
The Ministry lists some 6,000 water taking permits in the southern half of Ontario. these permits allow municipalities, mining companies, and golf courses, in addition to the water bottlers to take up to 1.4 trillion litres out of Ontario’s surface and ground water supplies daily. Some rivers have had multiple permits applied to them.
The next time you buy bottled water consider these numbers.
Nestle bottling water in area of severe drought: