The province announced today that it plans to impose stricter rules for bottled water companies to get permits. The government is imposing a two year hold on the creation or expansion of bottled water companies during this process.
Nestle produces millions of bottles of water a year but now the major company will have to wait two years before it can even test a well it purchased in Wellington centre just west of Toronto.
“It will not allow Nestle to do any more pump tests and will not allow for more water permits and it will not allow for any expansion.” Glen Murray, Minister of the Environment.
“It’s encouraging that the government listened and is taking action but it’s important that it turns onto meaningful and important policy regulation.” Mike Nagy, Wellington Water Watchers.
Part of that regulation includes increasing the the $3.71 charge for every million litres of water taken.
“If they don’t increase the price of water the people of Ontario are subsidizing these private water bottlers and I don’t think anyone supports that.” Peter Tabuns, MPP.
Nestle bought the Middlebrook well as a backup for its own wells in Erin and Aberfoyle. The mayor of Wellington centre says the population is growing and the community needs access to clean water.
“We do rely on ground water and we knew there was a lot of volume in this particular well so we thought it would fit into our plans for the next 10 years.” Kelly Linton, mayor Wellington centre.
Municipalities and the public have 45 days to comment on the proposed regulatory changes which would include the price of extracting water. In a news release Nestle says it agrees that this is good news for all Ontarians and encourages the government to continue to focus on ensuring a secure water future for the province.