Wellington Water Watchers vs. Nestle: Round 1

The Wellington Water Watchers needs your help to “Keep our Water in the Watershed”.

Nestle has just posted a renewal application for a water taking permit at their Aberfoyle plant. Unlike many of the other sources that draw on the groundwater locally, Nestle bottles up Guelph water and ships the bulk of it outside of the watershed. Guelph is already facing very serious environmental concerns as a result of the quantity Nestle is taking from the same aquifer that Guelph residents draw on for water. According to a recent study, the Mill Creek has reversed direction and is now flowing back into Guelph’s aquifer. The fact that this creek has reversed directions is indicative enough that this aquifer is being depleted. But of an equally disturbing concern, with the creek flowing back down into the aquifer, we may be opening the possibility for surface contaminants to make their way into our water source (remember Walkerton?). The Wellington Water Watchers (WWW) has organized a campaign to submit comments to the Ministry of the Environment during the 30 day posting for public comment. They feel confident that this application will be denied with sufficient public outcry. The deadline is May 2, 2007 to submit any comments.

On April 2, 2007 an application was posted on Ontario’s Environmental Registry for a renewal of Nestle’s Permit To Take Water from Aberfoyle, ON. Nestle’s wants to take 3.6 million litres per day, 365 days per year for a 5 year period.

Please go directly to the Wellington Water Watchers web site at www.wellingtonwaterwatchers.ca and follow the easy steps to post a comment on-line, or to print off a sample letter to fax or email. A draft letter with a number of reasons to oppose the permit is copied below for your further info. You can copy and paste it directly into the comment box from the website. It is all right there on the site and easy to do. Please act today as there are only 3 weeks for this campaign. Please also forward this to everyone you know, or direct them straight to our web site. Any resident of Ontario is entitled to submit a comment here. The WWW want to flood the MOE with comments and win this battle. Please also take a look at the site to see how else you can help with this campaign.

I am opposed to the renewal of this Permit To Take Water because:

  • Almost all of the water taken leaves the Grand River watershed. In time, this will further deplete the watershed and cause the water table to fall, dry up wetlands and result in the loss of habitats. Keep the water in the watershed!
  • The surface water from Mill Creek is being sucked into the groundwater as a direct result of Nestle’s water taking, as detailed in Harden Environmental’s letter on June 1, 2005 to you. This situation is similar to the circumstances that caused the Walkerton tragedy where surface water contaminated critical groundwater that was a source of drinking water. This water taking must be stopped to safeguard this aquifer and to avoid further environmental damage. In addition, this water taking is violating Riparian rights.
  • Nestle draws water from the Guelph aquifer as does the City of Guelph. The City and surrounding area are identified by the Province as a centre for population growth in the Places To Grow Act and will soon outgrow its current water supply. The water that Nestle removes for bottling and export compromises the future supply for the City of Guelph and area. This application must be denied since drinking water supply for municipalities must take precedence over water taking by commercial bottlers.
  • Nestle creates millions of plastic bottles every day that end up in the waste stream. Denying the renewal of this permit to take water will significantly reduce Ontario’s waste generation. The Ministry of the Environment has as a guiding principle the encouragement of “Reduce, reuse, recycle”. I want my government to demonstrate leadership and commitment to its own policies and principles by denying this permit.

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