Shipping Bottled Water Outside The Watershed

by: Emma Lui
contact: elui@canadians.org
22:22 Jul 11 2017 Aberfoyle, Ontario

Shipping Bottled Water Outside The Watershed
Why should we work towards a Great Lakes Commons and how ?
* From the Council of Canadians site linked below *

Nestlé Pure Life brand bottled water from Aberfoyle, Ontario has been traced thousands of kilometres across the country by the Council of Canadians.

Local chapters of the Council of Canadians reported finding the bottles for sale as far away as St. John’s, Newfoundland – 3,147 kilometres from the source of the water. Council chapters in Montreal, Thunder Bay, and Bridgewater, Nova Scotia also found bottled water from Aberfoyle for sale in their communities.

Nestlé Pure Life brand bottled water from Hope, B.C. (Nestlé’s only other bottling plant in Canada) was found for sale by chapters as far away as Yellowknife (2,126 km) and Winnipeg (2,144 km).

“We have wonderful tap water in St. John’s, so the idea of buying bottled water that has been shipped thousands of kilometres from Ontario is a bit of a head scratcher,” says Andrea Furlong of the St. John’s Chapter of the Council of Canadians. “The impact of water extraction on the source aquifer is real and so is the amount of oil burnt up transporting it all the way to St. John’s with a bunch of useless plastic waste. And for what? For the privilege of paying an astronomical markup to drink water that’s not half as good or as fresh as what comes out of our taps for next to nothing? Why pay for water twice?”

Nestlé’s Aberfoyle plant is the largest bottled water production facility in Canada. The Swiss company’s permit to pump 3.6 million litres of groundwater per day from the Guelph-Amabel Aquifer is expired and under review by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change. Nestlé has another permit allowing it to extract up to 1.1 million litres per day from a well 40 kilometres away in Hillsburgh. That permit expires at the end of July.

“Nestlé keeps extracting and wasting this precious resource despite recurring droughts in Southern Ontario and throughout B.C.,” says Emma Lui, Water Campaigner for the Council of Canadians. “Groundwater resources are finite. Droughts, climate change and over-extraction continue to impact our limited water sources. At this pace, communities will not have enough for their future needs.”

The Council of Canadians is calling for a phase-out of current water permits for producing single-serving, disposable bottled water products and a permanent moratorium on the issuing of any new permits for the same purpose.

City / Store / distance from Aberfoyle plant

St John’s, NL / Dominion / 3,147 km
Bridgewater, NS / Canadian Superstore / 1,939 km
Dartmouth, NS / Walmart / 1,851 km
Thunder Bay, ON / Walmart / 1,428 km
Montreal, QC / IGA / 605 km
Ottawa, ON / Loblaws / 512 km
Cobourg, ON / Foodland / No Frills / 179 km
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