Nestlé Spurs Renewed Water Permit Process

by: paul baines
contact: paul@greatlakescommonsmap.org
12:49 Nov 13 2015 Middlebrook well, Elora, Ontario

Nestlé Spurs Renewed Water Permit Process Nestlé Spurs Renewed Water Permit Process Nestlé Spurs Renewed Water Permit Process Nestlé Spurs Renewed Water Permit Process
Why should we work towards a Great Lakes Commons and how ?
Nestlé plans to pump and eventually sell water in the Elora area and has renewed people's commitment to protect water and refresh the current water permitting process in Ontario. The Ministry of the Environment & Climate Change was receiving public comments on Nestlé's intentions until November 15th.

A coalition of people and groups (Water is Life ~ Coalition for Water Justice) have started to organize to offer a precautionary and proactive message to Ontario's Environmental Commissioner and to the Min. of Environment & C.C.. The Commissioner is meeting with people in Elora on December 1st to discussion the water permitting process.

Background materials are best found in the links below. Each group offers valuable and unique perspectives. Save Our Water is one citizen's group that has gathered a lot of background material on this issue. Water Walkers United gives support and steps for honouring water as a sacred source of life. Great Lakes Commons is a bioregional initiative to protect the lakes as a shared and sacred commons.

Here is our EBR submission:

To: Ministry of Environment and Climate Change
From: Water is LIFE ~ Coalition for Water Justice
Date: November 15, 2015
Re: Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR) Posting No. 012-4935

Water is Life ~ Coalition for Water Justice (hereafter referred to as The Coalition) is a group of concerned individuals and members of citizens groups who are aware of Nestle Corporation Ltd application to perform a pump test in Wellington County at 7334 Middlebrook Rd. Nestle is performing this pump test to determine whether it is a viable site to potentially take water and package up to 1.6 million litres per day from this aquifer.

The Coalition is opposed to this action. We are opposed to the removal of water from this aquifer outright. The Coalition will be monitoring this application very closely. We are standing in support of the people of Elora, Centre Wellington, surrounding communities along the Grand River Watershed including First Nation communities. The Coalition is adding our voice to oppose this permit in principle.

According to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, we are concerned that as primary stakeholders, Six Nations of Grand River have not been adequately consulted on this permit process which is taking place within their territory. The Coalition stands firm on this issue and we urge the Ministries of: Environment and Climate Change, Natural Resources and Forests, and Indigenous and Northern Affairs to consult before any further action is taken. We feel the urge to remind your governments that you are responsible and accountable to concerned citizens, including First Nations communities in matters that affect them.

The Coalition is concerned about the lack of consultation with First Nation communities as well as the fact that current provincial and federal legislation do not represent the current reality. The Coalition is deeply concerned that water, taken for the purpose of commercial or consumer use may never return to the original aquifer, thus impacting the surrounding areas adversely. This concern has been echoed by the Environment Commissioner of Ontario in a recent report. Our concerns are also rooted in the First Nations Water Declaration in Ontario (see turtleisland link below).

We thank you for recording and acknowledging our opposition to Nestlé’s application for a pump test to take water in Wellington County.
Sincerely,

Water is Life ~ Coalition for Water Justice:
Great Lakes Commons
Water Walkers United
Save Our Water
Water Docs Festival
Waawaasaegaming Water Walk
Idle No More Ontario
***

To join our ongoing organizing efforts, join our Facebook group: Water is LIFE - Coalition for Water Justice
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