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14th November 2015
Nestlé Waters has started the process to take over the Middlebrook Water Co. spring water well in the Great Lakes Basin by applying to test the well for water supply and quality. If the plan moves forward, Nestlé could extract 1.6 million litres of water per day and truck it to its other Ontario plant for bottling.

The Ontario Environmental Registry is accepting public comments on Nestlé’s application until November 15, 2015. This is your chance to tell the Ontario government you want to protect the Great Lakes from Nestlé!

With six major droughts since 1998, it’s time to put the brakes on Nestlé’s plan to take even more water and bottle it for profit. The community is urging the province to implement a three-year moratorium on consumptive water permits for bottled water in the Grand River Watershed, which is vulnerable to low water levels.

Following testing, Nestlé can apply for a permit to draw water from the aquifer in Elora, Ontario, only metres from the Grand River, which feeds into Lake Erie. Let’s stop Nestlé’s plans in these early stages by telling the Ontario government to reject Nestlé’s testing permit.

Have your say! Tell the Ontario government to say “no” to Nestlé pumping water out of the Great Lakes Basin and “yes” to protecting water for communities.

Send your letter today

Points you can include in your letter

► Nestlé Waters has a conditional offer to purchase the Middlebrook Water Co. spring water source, which is right on Elora’s doorstep and just 100 metres from the Grand River. The well is in the Grand River catchment area, which is vulnerable to low water levels. The Grand River flows south 280 kilometres and feeds into Lake Erie, which is the second most stressed Great Lake.

► Elora’s municipal wells draw 1.7 million litres per day. There are hundreds of private wells in the rural/suburban area. Many wells could be negatively impacted. There is a lack of coordination between the province and municipalities, and a lack of recognition of the human right to water. Because of this, there have been times when residents were asked to reduce their water takings while industries such as water bottlers were allowed to continue taking water during times of drought.

► The well is on the traditional territory of Haudenosaunee, also known as the Six Nations of the Grand River. According to the UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the government is obligated to obtain free, prior and informed consent of Indigenous communities on any decision affecting water sources.

► Planned assessments of municipal water needs have not been carried out, and little high quality data exists for this deep aquifer. With so many unknowns and uncertainties the Ontario government should deny this permit.

► Nestlé’s plans could affect the whole Grand River Watershed and consequently the Great Lakes Basin. The community is asking the province for a three-year moratorium on consumptive water permits for the purpose of bottling in the Grand River Watershed.

► Water is a human right, commons and public trust, to be shared, protected, carefully managed and enjoyed by all who live around it. In July 2010, the United Nations General Assembly confirmed the Human Right to Water and Sanitation. This internationally binding resolution must be recognized at every level of government. The recognition of water as a human right would ensure that governments protect drinking water for communities. Surface and ground water should be declared a public trust, which will require the government to protect water for a community’s reasonable use. Under a public trust doctrine, private water use would be subservient to the public interest. Water could not be appropriated or subordinated for private gain.

► Nestlé already pumps water from wells in Hillsburgh and Aberfoyle, two communities surrounded by three of the five Great Lakes in southern Ontario. Two years ago, Nestlé appealed the Ontario government’s decision to include drought restrictions on the Hillsburgh permit. However, Nestlé backed down after the Wellington Water Watchers and Council of Canadians, represented by Ecojustice, challenged the multi-billion dollar company on its attempt to have drought restrictions dropped from the five-year permit. Nestlé’s Aberfoyle permit will expire on July 31, 2016.

Send your letter today

Recent highlightsNestlé could take more water in the Great Lakes region: Have your say!

November 13, 2015
Nestlé has made a conditional offer to purchase the Middlebrook Well in Elora, Ontario, formally owned by the Middlebrook Water Company. Nestlé wants to test the water first - for up to 60 days over a two year period - for quantity and quality and has applied for a Permit to Take Water with the Ontario government. A notice on Nestlé’s proposal was posted on the Ontario Environmental Registry on...
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