Wellington Water Watchers believes that Permits to Take Water for bottling should undergo Environmental Assessments. This will allow for a full public debate on the social and environmental impacts of water bottling in Ontario.
Everyone is entitled to clean drinking water. Water is a human right and a public trust and should never be under the control of private corporations.
The Ontario government is responsible for ensuring that drinking water is available for future generations. This
is especially important as the growing climate crisis increases the risk of water scarcity.
Wellington Water Watchers calls on the Ontario government to protect drinking water and:
1) Phase out within five years all permits to bottle water in Ontario. (A majority of Ontario residents who responded to public opinion polls on World Water Day in 2017 and 2018 support this position.)
2) Adhere to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), especially regarding consent, in decisions on permits to take water.
3) Ensure public ownership and control of water management systems.
4) Support workers in the bottled water industry to transition to equivalent or better jobs.
Ontario's current process to review permits to take water for bottling does not address all the environmental and social impacts of Nestlé's water bottling.
- Nestlé profits from the sale of millions of litres of Ontario water it takes and bottles every year--essentially for free.
- Nestlé produces hundreds of millions of single-use plastic bottles every year. 50% of these plastic bottles results in landfill or litter. *
- Microplastics found in bottled water may have health consequences. **
- Nestlé takes water without the free, prior and informed consent of Indigenous peoples--as required by the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples which Canada accepted in 2016.
* Who Pays What: An Analysis of Beverage Container Collection and Costs in Canada 2016, CM Consulting
Tell Ontario Premier Doug Ford and
Jeff Yurek, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks to designate all Permits to Take Water for bottling in Ontario for Environmental Assessment.
The current review process for water bottling permits is inadequate.
The ontario government's current review of applications for permits to take water for bottling is inadequate in several ways as it:
- Fails to recognize water as a public trust;
- does not guarantee Indigenous consent consistent with UNDRIP;
- fails to recognize the increasing threat of climate change;
- inadequately assesses the cumulative impact of water taking on groundwater;
- ignores the environmental impact of discarded plastic bottles; and
- ignores the health risks of microplastics in drinking water
Online-only public consultation restricts participation in permit decisions.
The Environmental Registry of Ontario limits public participation to a 90-day online consultation. This prevents face-to-face discussion among the public and with their political representatives on an important issue of public concern.
Public debate is urgently needed on the future of water bottling in Ontario.
Wellington Water Watchers calls on the Ontario government to suspend the current review process for applications to renew water bottling permits. Jeff Yurek, Minister of Environment, Conservation and Parks must require environmental assessments of all applications to renew permits to take water for bottling. It's time for a full public debate on the social and environmental impacts of water bottling.
Download our newest PDFs (as of August 2019):
- 5 Reasons Ontario's Permits to Take Water for Bottling Should Require Environmental Assessments (2 pages)
- Water For Life Not For Profit - Background (2 pages)
Download our previous detailed backgrounder (pdf)
See Frequently Asked Questions on our fight to stop Nestlé's bottled water operations in our community