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News and media

 

For media inquiries or to arrange an interview, please contact:

 

Arlene Slocombe
Part Time Executive Director,
Wellington Water Watchers
arlene.slocombe@gmail.com
519-994-0270

                                

Dr. Robert Case
Board Chair,
Wellington Water Watchers
racase@uwaterloo.ca
519-760-2410

 

 

Recent Press Releases

7 DECEMBER, 2017

Wellington Water Watchers calls for Source Water Protection Features within Wellington County to be included in an expanded Greenbelt

10 OCTOBER, 2017

Residents rally to Say No To Nestlé on anniversary of Moratorium decision

5 JUNE, 2017

Waterstock announces final phase lineup, hosts, chefs, breweries and more

11 APRIL, 2017

Local Citizens Organizations Call an Emergency Meeting to Express Concerns and Implications of Nestlé’s proposed ‘voluntary levy’ in the Town of Erin

16 MARCH, 2017

Water: A Sacred Gift. Released by Regional Faith Leaders Today

21 JANUARY,2017

No Fee Increase Will Bring Our Water Back!

 

 

Recent Media Coverage

Michigan OKs Nestlé Water Extraction, Despite 80K+ Public Comments Against It

BILL CHAPPELL | NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO | 3 APRIL 2018

In a much-watched case, a Michigan agency has approved Nestlé's plan to boost the amount of water it takes from the state. The request attracted a record number of public comments — with 80,945 against and 75 in favor. Nestlé's request to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality to pump 576,000 gallons of water each day from the White Pine Springs well in the Great Lakes Basin was "highly controversial," member station Michigan Radio reports. But despite deep public opposition, the agency concluded that the company's plan met with legal standards. See full article

 

Billions For Bitter Coffee, Bloody Chocolate

ELEANOR GOLDFIELD | POPULARRESISTANCE.ORG | 9 MAY 2018

[...] It would take me days to outline all the horrors associated with the Nestle corporation but since we’re strapped for time, let’s do a highlight (or rather, lowlife) reel. In 2015, California was four years deep into a historic drought when Nestle Waters North America CEO Tim Brown was asked if he’d consider moving his company’s bottling operations out of California. “Absolutely not. In fact, if I could increase it, I would.” Meanwhile, we have no idea what they’d be increasing it from since Nestle is under no obligation to report the amount of water they’re syphoning, packaging and shipping away. See full article

 

Tribe says 'no' to Nestle water

BEN THORP | WNMU-FM | 9 MAY 2018

SAULT STE. MARIE, MI (MPRN)-- The Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians has declared a moratorium on bottled water from Nestle. The moratorium was announced Monday after the tribe’s board of directors unanimously approved the ban at all tribally owned and operated facilities. The board called on tribal members to uphold the moratorium. They say they have shared their resolution with other tribes. See full article

 

The Council stands in solidarity with the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians in their opposition to Nestle bottled-water takings

BRENT PATTERSON | THE COUNCIL OF CANADIANS | 8 MAY 2018

The Council of Canadians stands in solidarity with the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians that opposes increased Nestle water-takings in Michigan and declared a "moratorium on the purchase and sale of Nestle bottled water products at any tribally owned and operated facility and urges tribal members to boycott Nestle products". See full article

 

French town of Vittel suffering water shortages as Nestle accused of 'overusing' resources

DAVID CHAZAN | THE TELEGRAPH | 26 APRIL 2018

It is the source of one of the world’s most popular mineral waters, but the eastern French town of Vittel risks running dry. Nestlé Waters, which owns the Vittel brand, is accused by residents and environmentalists of “overusing” local spring water that supplies the town and its bottling plant to maintain exports. The company denies the allegation. The underground water level has been falling by 30 centimetres (nearly 12 inches) a year since 1990, according to the French government’s geological bureau. It has gone down by 10 metres in the past four decades. See full article

 

Michigan OKs Nestlé Water Extraction, Despite 80K+ Public Comments Against It

BILL CHAPPELL | NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO | 3 APRIL 2018

In a much-watched case, a Michigan agency has approved Nestlé's plan to boost the amount of water it takes from the state. The request attracted a record number of public comments — with 80,945 against and 75 in favor. Nestlé's request to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality to pump 576,000 gallons of water each day from the White Pine Springs well in the Great Lakes Basin was "highly controversial," member station Michigan Radio reports. But despite deep public opposition, the agency concluded that the company's plan met with legal standards. See full article

 

Your lifestyle is making blue box recycling unsustainable

EMILY CHUNG | CBC NEWS | 27 MARCH 2018

Our changing lifestyles over the past few decades have dramatically altered the types of materials we put in blue bins. [...] The problem is that we're now throwing out a huge variety of new types of packaging — mostly plastics, sometimes glued to other materials like metals — that recycling programs were never meant to deal with. Meanwhile, the materials that they were designed to collect, sort and resell make up a shrinking proportion of what comes in. Newspaper, for example, used to be the backbone of the recycling program, Kelleher says, "because it's easy to recycle and it's worth a good bit of money." See full article

 

Metal water bottles for sale in U of O vending machines

CBC NEWS | 25 MARCH 2018

After banning the sale of bottled water on campus in 2010 to cut down on waste produced by plastic bottles, the University of Ottawa has launched a new initiative — selling aluminum bottles in campus vending machines. Celeste Digiovanni, a graduate student at the university, is the architect of the new initiative. She said the plastic water bottle ban left a gap for students who wanted easy access to transportable water. See full article

 

McGill bans bottled water from vending machines on campus

CTVNEWS.CA STAFF | CTV NEWS | 23 MARCH 2018

Students at McGill University soon won’t be able to buy bottled water from vending machines as the university rolls out a campus-wide ban. The step, which falls in line with World Water Day, will eliminate the sale of about 85,000 water bottles each year. [...] Students will still have access to clean, fresh drinking water. McGill is adding 25 new water fountains throughout the school, and reusable bottles will be sold at a campus bookstore. The ban takes effect on May 1, 2019. See full article

 

Canadian teen tells UN 'warrior up' to protect water

MELISSA KENT | CBC NEWS | 22 MARCH 2018

It's time to "warrior up," stop polluting the planet and give water the same rights and protections as human beings. That's the message Autumn Peltier, a 13-year-old Canadian, delivered personally to the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday. "Many people don't think water is alive or has a spirit," the Anishinaabe girl from Wikwemikong First Nation told the diplomats gathered in New York City in her speech on World Water Day. "My people believe this to be true. "Our water deserves to be treated as human with human rights. We need to acknowledge our waters with personhood so we can protect our waters." See full article

 

Bottled vs. tap water: Engineer Barbara Robinson on which is better

CRAIG NORRIS | CBC LISTEN | 22 MARCH 2018

Infrastructure columnist Barbara Robinson talks about the difference between bottled and tap water. Listen here

 

We’re so addicted to plastic that we drink it every day

DENISE BALKISSOON | THE GLOBE & MAIL | 21 MARCH 2018

Thirsty? How about a tall, cool glass of polypropylene, nylon and polyethylene terephthalate? Microscopic bits of those plastics were found in bottled water sold by 11 brands including Dasani, Evian and Aquafina, according to a study released last week by the State University of New York. Enlisted by the nonprofit journalism foundation Orb Media, professor Sherri Mason tested more than 250 individual bottles from nine countries (not including Canada). While a few had “effectively” no plastic, others contained thousands of invisible particles. One bottle, sold by Nestle Pure Life, had more than 10,000 particles a litre. See full article

 

Plastic in your bottled water? WHO to weigh risks

SONJA PUZIC | CTV NEWS | 15 MARCH 2018

The World Health Organization says it will review the potential risks of tiny plastic particles in bottled water after a study found “widespread” microplastic contamination. [...] The plastic particles identified in the study included polypropylene, nylon, and polyethylene terephthalate (PET), which is used to make bottle caps. The study found that “at least part” of the microplastic contamination came from the packaging material and the bottling process itself. In an email to CTV News, a World Health Organization (WHO) spokesperson said that “currently there is no evidence” on health impacts of plastic particles found in bottled water. But Tarik Jasarevic said the WHO is “aware that this is an emerging area of concern” for consumers and the organization’s member states. See full article

 

Microplastics found in 93% of bottled water tested in global study

DAVID COMMON, ERIC SZETO | CBC NEWS | 14 MARCH 2018

The 11 brands tested include the world's dominant players — Nestle Pure Life, Aquafina, Dasani, Evian, San Pellegrino and Gerolsteiner — as well as major national brands across Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas. Researchers found 93 per cent of all bottles tested contained some sort of microplastic, including polypropylene, polystyrene, nylon and polyethylene terephthalate (PET). [...] [Researchers] found on average there were 10.4 particles of plastic per litre that were 100 microns (0.10 mm) or bigger. This is double the level of microplastics in the tap water tested from more than a dozen countries across five continents, examined in a 2017 study by Orb that looked at similar-sized plastics. See full article

 

Festival of African culture attracts hundreds to city hall: African community and environmental activists forming alliances

TERRY PENDER | WATERLOO REGION RECORD | 19 FEBRUARY 2018

The eighth annual Bring on the Sunshine Family Day Festival, a celebration of African culture, attracted hundreds of people to the Rotunda inside Kitchener City Hall Monday, much to the delight of Allen Magama., one of the organizers. "We want to bridge the gap that exists sometimes between understanding what African people are like, and how we have assimilated here," said Magama. [...] Arlene Slocombe was at the festival. She is the executive director of Wellington Water Watchers, and readily acknowledges the green movement was maybe too white. Drinking water protection affects everyone, and building links among different communities can only strengthen environmental organizations, she said. See full article

 

Draining us dry: scarcity discourses in contention over bottled water extraction

DANIEL JAFFEE & ROBERT A. CASE | INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF JUSTICE AND SUSTAINABILITY | 2 FEBRUARY 2018

This article examines conflict over commercial water extraction in a Northern setting where access to potable tap water is nearly universal, yet local water supplies are increasingly constrained. It addresses three main questions: (1) How are narratives or discourses of water scarcity mobilised by a range of actors in local conflicts over groundwater extraction for water bottling?; (2) To what extent do these discourses invoke biophysical versus socially produced scarcity, current versus future scarcity, and local versus regional or global scales of scarcity?; and (3) What are the implications of the findings for efforts by environmental advocates and communities to protect local water supplies? We explore these questions by analysing a local case study of conflict over groundwater extraction by the leading bottled water firm, Nestlé Waters, in southwestern Ontario, Canada. See full article

 

Marketing may explain popularity of bottled water: UW study

RYAN FLANAGAN | CTV NEWS KITCHENER | 1 FEBRUARY 2018

Bottled water is more expensive than water that comes out of the tap, and about as healthy – so why do people keep buying it? The answer, according to a new study from the University of Waterloo, likely has a lot to do with how it’s marketed. The study found that bottled water companies target their advertising to send messages that suggest their product is somehow affiliated with liveliness and vibrancy. See full article

 

Local group wants the province to expand greenbelt coverage

KHALIL HASSANALI | 570 NEWS | 1 FEBRUARY 2018

The Government of Ontario is looking to expand the footprint of greenbelt conservation areas both in the Region of Waterloo as well as provincially. That’s a good thing according to Arlene Slocombe, executive director of Wellington Water Watchers, but she wants the coverage to have an even larger impact to protect the local land near waterways and wetlands against future growth. See full article

 

Nestle Canada seeks Six Nations support to take ground water

CHRIS PIMENTEL & LYNDA POWLESS | TURTLE ISLAND NEWS | 24 JANUARY 2018

Nestle Canada needs Six Nations. The multi-national company that can draw up to 4.7 million litres of water from Ontario aquifers is hoping to convince Ontario to re-approve a 10 year renewal of their water taking permit. But new regulations require that they consult with Six Nations if they want to continue to draw water from Six Nations traditional territory. See full article

 

Why You Should Probably Never Drink Bottled Water Again And 10 facts about the bottled water industry

KRISTA WATSON | GLOBAL CITIZEN | 10 JANUARY 2018

Nestlé — the same company that brings you those delicious Toll House cookies — decided in May to open a new plant in the middle of the drought-stricken desert in Arizona. This decision has raised many concerns and questions, the most obvious being “how can they bottle water in a desert?”. See full article

 

Bombshell report accuses Nestlé of violating water permit, pumping extra 54 million gallons per year

JEN HAYDEN | DAILY KOS | 28 DECEMBER, 2017

AFRICA - As California was in the middle of a serious drought in 2015, the Desert Sun newspaper dropped a bombshell report claiming Nestlé Waters North America had basically been draining California’s water supply in the San Bernardino Forest with little or no regulation. That investigative article prompted the California Water Board to begin to seriously investigate how much water Nestlé North America was actually pumping and the results are in—Nestlé was pumping an estimated 54 million gallons more than their permit allowed. See full article

 

Cape Town’s “Day Zero” Approaches

KAYLA RITTER | CIRCLE OF BLUE | 27 DECEMBER, 2017

AFRICA - Local authorities estimate that taps will be turned off by April 29, 2018. Cape Town, a city of 4 million, continues to grapple with severe water scarcity following three consecutive years of below average rainfall. The city’s six major reservoirs are expected, by late April, to run dry on “Day Zero.” For months, local authorities encouraged residents to cut water consumption. The city’s goal is to lower daily water use to 500 million liters, which allocates a mere 87 liters (23 gallons) of water per person per day. A typical desert Southwest resident in the United States consumes five times that much water in a day. See full article

 

Your recycling could become trash: The 'golden age' of recycling is coming to an end

MARY-CATHERINE MCINTOSH | CBC RADIO | 26 DECEMBER, 2017

As of January 1, 2018, China will no longer import much of the plastic and paper we have been shipping there for decades. China is the world's biggest importer of recycled materials, unloading the burden from countries like Canada and the U.S. See full article

 

$180bn investment in plastic factories feeds global packaging binge

MATTHEW TAYLOR | THE GUARDIAN | 26 DECEMBER, 2017

Colossal funding in manufacturing plants by fossil fuel companies will increase plastic production by 40%, risking permanent pollution of the earth. The global plastic binge which is already causing widespread damage to oceans, habitats and food chains, is set to increase dramatically over the next 10 years after multibillion dollar investments in a new generation of plastics plants in the US. [...] The new facilities – being built by corporations like Exxon Mobile Chemical and Shell Chemical – will help fuel a 40% rise in plastic production in the next decade, according to experts, exacerbating the plastic pollution crisis that scientist warn already risks “near permanent pollution of the earth.” See full article

 

London Mayor Seeks Revival of Public Drinking Fountains

ALAN COWELL | THE NEW YORK TIMES | 4 DECEMBER, 2017

LONDON — It is a worldwide emblem of urban life, as ubiquitous as the clutched paper cup of latte or the sight of a pedestrian in rapt communication with the screen of a smartphone. It is the plastic bottle of water, poking from a backpack or grasped in a gloved hand, stacked on the refrigerated shelves of supermarkets, or discarded in the gutter. [...] But as concerns mount over the detritus of plastics that elude recycling, London’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, let it be known on Monday that he wished to redress the balance by providing more drinking fountains and bottle-filling stations while reducing the prevalence of single-use packaging. See full article

Victory PS students reflect on relationship with water through Water Friendship Project

UPPER GRAND DISTRICT SCHOOL BOARD | 1 DECEMBER 2017

GUELPH, Ontario – Young students in Guelph are learning about the importance of clean water and the need to respect, thank and love our water. The grade 1 and 2 students at Victory Public School are participating in the Water Friendship Project. The school is working with local artist and retired teacher Christine Bretherick who brought the project to the school. Bretherick also secured Ontario Trillium Foundation funding for the project through the Great Lakes Commons, a group of people and organizations who are trying to teach water protection and preservation. See full article

 

Protesters rally against Nestlé Waters' plans for Elora well

TONY SAXON | GUELPH TODAY | 27 NOVEMBER, 2017

ELORA – Those opposed to Nestlé Waters' plans to increase its water taking from a well just outside of Elora aren’t going to let the issue fade.  Roughly 100 people showed up Sunday afternoon, gathering at a farm on Middlebrook Road for a rally then marching to the Middlebrook Well where Nestlé hopes to eventually start pumping bottled water. [...] Local Save Our Water member Amy Corner said that with Centre Wellington slated to double its population in the next 25 years, meaning the township must protect its water resources for its future residents.  “If Nestlé get the chance to pump water… they will pump the equivalent of the amount of water that three wells supply us daily. That’s the reality, that’s a lot of water,” Corner said. See full article

 

Protests continue over Nestle pumping and sale of ground water

MARC MONTGOMERY | RADIO CANADA INTERNATIONAL | 27 NOVEMBER, 2017

Permit expired, but pumping continues  People in and around the west-central Wellington County in Ontario held a protest this weekend at the controversial Nestle wellsite of the Middlebrook Rd. property in Central Wellington, near Guelph.  The site had been sought by the county for its own needs but was outbid by Nestle which operates other sites in the region. The group of citizens, environmentalists, farmers and others has long been concerned about commercial extraction of vast quantities of acquifer water by commercial operations in the province..  The vast amount of water is extracted for pittance amounts of permit fees, and then bottled and sold in plastic containers that usually end up as waste littering the landscape, lakes, and oceans. See full article

 

Residents call on Premier to say No to Nestlé

CTV NEWS KITCHENER | 27 NOVEMBER, 2017

Click here to watch the CTV news video

 

Nestlé bid to pump 2.1M litres of Michigan groundwater a day blocked by municipality

ALEXANDER MAVEAL | GLOBAL NEWS | 20 NOVEMBER, 2017

A Michigan township has temporarily blocked Nestlé’s attempt to pump millions of litres of groundwater for bottled water — the latest in a trend of municipalities engaged in legal battles with the world’s largest food and beverage company. See full article

 

Water warriors: A small community's struggle to keep water public

DIANE BALLANTYNE | EDUCATION FORUM | 17 NOVEMBER, 2017

About two years ago, Nestlé came knocking on the door of an unused property in Centre Wellington, Ontario (better known as Fergus and Elora, pre-amalgamation). The owners of the Middlebrook Road property had a modest water-taking permit and had floundered with a “make your own” beer and wine operation. They also provided modest quantities of water for keeping construction site dust down and filling swimming pools, etc. The operation did not include any bottling of the water. Unbeknownst to the community, however, the owners had renamed the operation as a “numbered company” and applied not just for a renewal of their permit, but for an increase that would allow the extraction of 1.6 million litres of water per day. See full article

 

Assertive action needed to protect water

MIKE NAGY | WATERLOO REGION RECORD | 21 OCTOBER, 2017

The past year and a half has seen more progress by the Government of Ontario on water policy than over the previous nine years of Wellington Water Watchers' existence. Because of new provincial guidelines for bottling permits, etc., one might think that our water is protected. However, on Monday—the first anniversary of a government announcement that it planned a two-year moratorium on new and expanded water bottling permits—it is still business as usual: the abuse of our aquifers continues, and Ontario's water is not yet protected long term. The government must end the consumptive, wasteful extraction of Ontario's groundwater for bottling. See full article

 

Water Blessing: Reconnecting with History and Responsibility

DOREEN NICOLL | RAISE THE HAMMER | 10 OCTOBER, 2017

An hour-long celebration organized by Wellington Water Watchers and the Unitarian Congregation of Guelph had me seeing water in an entirely new light. See full article

 

Nestlé Makes Billions Bottling Water It Pays Nearly Nothing For

CAROLINE WINTER | BLOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEK | 21 SEPTEMBER 2017

In rural Mecosta County, Mich., sits a near-windowless facility with a footprint about the size of Buckingham Palace. It’s just one of Nestlé’s roughly 100 bottled water factories in 34 countries around the world. Inside, workers wear hairnets, hard hats, goggles, gloves, and earplugs. Ten production lines snake through the space, funneling local spring water into 8-ounce to 2.5-gallon containers; most of the lines run 24/7, each pumping out 500 to 1,200 bottles per minute. See full article

 

My life as a water way, in four parts

DEIRDRE PIKE | HAMILTON SPECTATOR | 7 JUNE, 2017

Waterstock was a fantastic event using local food and music to draw attention to the need for Premier Kathleen Wynne to stop allowing permits to bottle water. We can no longer take the risk of depleting ground water when climate change makes everything more unpredictable and the associated plastic pollution is creating a global crisis. See full article

 

1836 treaty puts Michigan tribes at center of Nestle water bid

GARRET ELLISON | MICHIGAN LIVE | 7 JUNE, 2017

TRAVERSE CITY, MI -- Native American tribes with treaty rights to natural resources north of Grand Rapids are quietly coordinating with Michigan officials who are deciding whether to let Nestle Waters North America extract more spring water from trout stream headwaters where the tribes have inland fishing rights. According to state officials, tribes in the Chippewa Ottawa Resource Authority (CORA) have met with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, other regulatory agencies and Gov. Rick Snyder's liaison three times since MLive revealed in October that Nestle was asking permission to pump more water. See full article

 

Waterstock's success came at the perfect time, says Wellington Water Watchers chair

JORDAN SNOBELEN | GUELPH MERCURY TRIBUNE | 15 JUNE, 2017

Mike Nagy, the chair of Wellington Water Watchers, is exhausted after the Waterstock festival went off without a hitch this past Sunday in Erin, Ont., drawing upwards of 3,000 people under a hard sun to eat, hear live music and sample local brews. Waterstock was the culmination of more than 10 years of work and advocacy, aimed at showing Premier Kathleen Wynne that people care about their water supply, said Nagy. Reinforcing the Watcher’s Water for Life not-for-profit campaign, Nagy believes the festival came together at the perfect time when permits to take water are up for review, and Nestlé is after a pumping permit at a recently purchased well in Erin. “This is a really important period because every day there’s more acquisition of water by central corporations, and it’s a trend that has to stop because we’re going to lose access to our water,” Nagy said. See full article

 

Waterstock: The message, the music, the great time. Thousands turn out to event at Erin Fairgrounds to support the message that water is for life, not profit

TONY SAXON | GUELPH TODAY | 12 JUNE, 2017

The first-ever Waterstock was a big, sunny success this past Sunday at the Erin Fairgrounds. Water is for life, not profit, was the dominant message behind the music and up front from the many guest speakers who spoke between sets. “Waterstock is the culmination and the rallying point for everyone in Ontario, not just those that are here,” said Mike Nagy, chairman of Wellington Water Watchers, who put the event on with Riverfest Elora. “For ten years we’ve been fighting these permits of Nestlé and others. It’s a madness that has to stop." See full article and 22 photos.

 

Water bottle battle in Erin

CTV NEWS KITCHENER | 11 JUNE, 2017

CTV News coverage from Waterstock. See video.

 

Ontario increases water-taking permit price for bottled water companies

JESSICA CHIN | HUFFPOST CANADA | 9 JUNE, 2017

The Ontario government is clamping down on the bottled-water system by increasing the price charged to companies, but critics say the move doesn't go far enough. Starting Aug. 1, water bottlers will pay $503.71 for every million litres of groundwater taken, compared to the previous fee of $3.71. The Canadian Bottled Water Association "flatly rejects" the new fee. Council of Canadians regional organizer Mark Calzavara said Ontarians "overwhelmingly want to see bottled water phased out." "Charging roughly one penny per case of bottled water will do nothing to protect vulnerable groundwater," Calzavara told CBC News. See full article.

 

Ontario increasing groundwater withdrawal fee for water bottlers

WATER CANADA | 8 JUNE, 2017

The Province of Ontario has announced it will be charging water bottling companies an additional $500 for groundwater withdrawals. Beginning Aug. 1, 2017, water bottlers will pay $503.71 for every million litres of groundwater taken. The government has instituted the new fee in order to help recover costs associated with managing groundwater taken by water bottlers, including supporting scientific research on the environmental impacts as well as enhanced data analysis on groundwater taken for water bottling. “The fee of $503.71 is neither good or bad as we believe that these permits need to be phased out within 10 years,” said Mike Nagy of Wellington Water Watchers. See full article.

 

Time for Ontario to protect its water supplies

OP-ED | MIKE NAGY AND MAUDE BARLOW | WATERLOO REGION RECORD | 11 MAY, 2017

New Ontario guidelines regarding commercial water-bottling permits do not address the problems of protecting Ontario's groundwater, reducing plastic waste and pollution and ensuring water is for life, not profit. The revised guidelines make companies like Nestlé Waters Canada jump over more hurdles to renew their permits to take water. On their own, however, the guidelines will not significantly reduce or stop the bottling of Ontario's precious water by multinational corporations such as Nestlé. See full article.

 

Ontario's Waterstock reveals 2017 lineup with Bry Webb, Reuben and the Dark, Band of People

SARAH MURPHY | EXCLAIM! | 27 APRIL, 2017

Waterstock will be dousing Erin, ON, with some sweet tunes this summer in support of the "Water for Life Not Profit" movement, and organizers have just unveiled the first round of performers for the event. Bry Webb of Constantines, Reuben Bullock of Reuben and the Dark, and Band of People are slated to headline the one-day festival, which takes place from 12-5 p.m. on June 11 at the Erin Fairgrounds. See full article.

 

Nestlé discusses Middlebrook well purchase

OLIVIA RUTT | THE WELLINGTON ADVERTISER | 28 APRIL, 2017

ERIN - Nestlé Waters Canada officials opened up about the purchase of the Middlebrook Well outside of Elora during an Erin council meeting on April 18. Andreanne Simard and Jennifer Kerr of Nestlé Waters Canada presented an annual report as part of a discussion about an annual contribution from Nestlé to Erin, which received strong opposition from many at the meeting. Council voted 4-1 in favour of the annual voluntary levy of $0.50 per 1,000 litres, with a minimum payment of $25,000 per year. Nestlé’s purchase of the Middlebrook well near Elora was broached by councillor Matt Sammut, who said he was skeptical about Nestlé’s bid against Centre Wellington, which he said “gives an appearance that the community is not as important as a well for your profit.” See full article.

 

Time to phase out bottled water

READERS' LETTERS | TORONTO STAR | 13 APRIL, 2017

Elizabeth Griswold’s critique of the Toronto Star’s editorial regarding bottled water displays a surprising poverty of the imagination. Today, we need everyone — government, citizens, businesses — to put their heads together to resolve what is rapidly becoming an intractable ecological crisis: the massive taking of groundwater that is packaged in plastic bottles and sold. Griswold’s article trots out many tired clichés, such as “anti-water-bottle arguments are based on emotion, not fact” See full article.

 

Nestlé bottled water travels up to 3,100 Km. Your tap is metres away

EMMA PALING | HUFFINGTON POST CANADA | 13 APRIL, 2017

Bottled water — and its sourcing and plastic packaging — has become a controversial product. Now, there's another reason you might want to avoid it. Nestlé, which is a major bottler of water in Canada, sources water from plants in Hope, B.C. and Aberfoyle, Ont. The plastic bottles then travel hundreds — sometimes thousands — of kilometres to be sold across the country, activists from the Council of Canadians have discovered. See full article.

 

Nestlé Waters offers Town of Erin money for community benefit fund

KATE BUECKERT | CBC NEWS | 12 APRIL, 2017

An offer by Nestlé Waters Canada to develop a community benefit fund for the Town of Erin is cause for concern, water advocates say. The fund would give the town 50 cents for every 1,000 litres of water Nestlé takes from the well they own in town. Nestlé has said the town would get at least $25,000 annually. But Mike Nagy of the Wellington Water Watchers said the fund is a "quasi-profit situation" and no municipality should profit from the sale of water. See full article.

 

Town urged to reject voluntary water payments from Nestlé

KELCEY WRIGHT-JOHNSON | ERIN ADVOCATE | 11 APRIL, 2017

Over a dozen Erin residents gathered at Town Hall to support Linda Rosier as she urged Council to decline a proposal by Nestlé Waters Canada to pay a voluntary levy to the Town for water pumped from its Hillsburgh well. They have offered $0.50 per 1,000 litres annually, with a minimum payment of $25,000, and no financial cap. Rosier says that Erin citizens can raise the money themselves. “This is our moment to shine; to come forward, to address those environmental issues that bottled water causes,” said Rosier at the April 4 meeting. “This is a decision that is really going to change the face of this town forever; it’s a legacy decision and it’s being carefully watched. We have a chance to stand up and be counted as caretakers of our precious resource.” See full article.

 

Water Watchers meeting to oppose Nestlé levy proposal in Erin

CHRIS HALLIDAY | GUELPH MERCURY TRIBUNE | 11 APRIL, 2017

Wellington Water Watchers is holding what it is calling an “urgent public meeting” on Wednesday evening in Erin to urge town council to reject a proposed voluntary levy from water bottler Nestle. “No one, including any municipality, should be profiting from the extraction of water,” Water Watchers chairperson Mike Nagy said in a news release. “If accepted, Nestle’s proposal could set a dangerous precedent and will impact communities across the country, while leaving behind a hot potato for future councils to deal with. See full article.

 

Chefs, musicians, activists set to launch Say No to Nestlé campaign, prepare for Waterstock

CHRIS HALLIDAY | ORANGEVILLE.COM | 4 APRIL, 2017

More than half a decade removed from Foodstock, celebrity chefs, musicians, artists and activists are reuniting to launch Waterstock as part of a local advocacy group’s Say No to Nestlé campaign. Waterstock, which will be held at the Bela Farm overlooking Nestlé Waters Canada well in Hillsburgh on June 11, follows in the tradition of Foodstock and Soupstock events, which mobilized public opposition and ultimately stopped The Highland Companies’ mega-quarry plan in Melancthon. Through Waterstock and its Say No to Nestlé campaign, the Wellington Water Watchers and Riverfest Elora aim to convince the provincial government to deny any renewals of Nestlé’s water-taking permits in Hillsburgh and Aberfoyle, as well as phase out permits for all water-bottling in Ontario. See full article.

 

It’s time we weaned ourselves off bottled water

OP-ED | EDITORIAL BOARD | TORONTO STAR | 26 MARCH, 2017

We Canadians love our water, or so we say. In national polls we’ve declared it our most valuable natural resource. We just wrapped up Canada Water Week. And Toronto will host a festival of documentaries about water starting this Wednesday. We’re perfectly happy to celebrate the abundance of fresh, drinkable water in lakes and rivers across the country. Yet somehow, when we’re looking to quench our thirst, an awful lot of us reflexively reach for bottled water, not that same fresh, drinkable water available at a tiny fraction of the price simply by turning on the tap. Our overreliance on bottled water is a waste of money and a detriment to the environment. It’s time we resolved to end it. See full article.

 

Wellington Water Watchers celebrate 10 year anniversary

MATTEO CIMELLARO | THE ONTARIAN | 22 MARCH, 2017

Local politicians joined members past and present to celebrate 10 years of the Wellington Water Watchers at the Wooly on March 18. According to the Wellington Water Watchers’ website, it is an “organization of citizens dedicated to the protection, restoration and conservation of drinking water of Guelph and Wellington County.” The non-profit, volunteer-operated organization has continually made efforts to protect the area’s natural resources, most recently in opposing Nestlé’s procurement of nearby wells. To mark a decade of community involvement and to raise awareness about their ongoing campaign against Nestlé, Wellington Water Watchers announced the inception of Waterstock, a new initiative blending music, art, and activism. See full article.

 

Stuck on the bottle

COREY MINTZ | THE GLOBE AND MAIL | 21 MARCH, 2017

You know you’re a 1990s kid if you remember bottled water. Back in the crazy days between the fall of the Berlin Wall and 9/11, fictional teens went to Degrassi High, America dropped bombs on Iraq and people actually paid for water taken from public sources and put into disposable bottles. Wait, all of those things are still happening? That’s nuts. Most Canadians have perfectly good water pouring out of our taps, and drinking it doesn’t require the wasteful practice of shipping plastic bottles around the country or world. And yet, the Canadian bottled-water industry – lead by Nestlé ... – generates $2.5-billion in annual sales. See full article.

 

Canadians value, worry about country’s supply of fresh water: poll

SHAWN MCCARTHY | THE GLOBE AND MAIL | 20 MARCH, 2017

Canadians see fresh water as the country’s most important resource, but worry the country faces a growing risk to the quality and adequate supply of clean water, a new poll from the Royal Bank of Canada says. The release of the survey Monday comes after President Donald Trump released a proposed budget that week that would eliminate programs and regulations that protect the Great Lakes and other binational waterways. Mr. Trump’s proposed cutbacks are sparking new fears about the future quality of shared Canadian-U.S. water resources. See full article.

 

Water is a sacred gift

BISHOP MICHAEL BIRD | OP-ED | WATERLOO REGION RECORD | 16 MARCH, 2017

March 16 is Bottled Water Free Day, a day for us to think critically about the very concept of bottling this sacred gift. Our faith communities have long sought, as a best practice, not to use bottled water; some have even banned its use outright. Every bottle of water purchased sends a message that it is OK for multinational corporations to commodify local water sources for material gain. Worse still, every plastic bottle continues to inflict unnecessary wounds upon the Earth long after it has been discarded. See full article.

 

More

Over 150 articles, interviews and television news reports since May 2016. Below is a small sampling. To see the full list, click here

Water activists take on bottled water

THE MEDIUM | MARCH 13, 2017

Wellington Water Watchers use valentine to grab attention of Guelph MPP

570 NEWS | FEBRUARY 12, 2017

As Ontario hikes water-taking fees, activists demand regs to keep bulk exports from U.S.

NOW TORONTO | FEBRUARY 6, 2017

Waterstock plans take shape as Ontario clamps down on water bottlers

ORANGEVILLE BANNER | JANUARY 20, 2017

Ontario proposes higher water bottler fee

GUELPH MERCURY TRIBUNE | JANUARY 18, 2017

Ontario proposes to boost water bottler fee by $500 per million litres taken

THE GLOBE AND MAIL | JANUARY 18, 2017

Ontario proposes to boost water bottling fee by $500 per million litres

TORONTO STAR | JANUARY 18, 2017

Ontario proposes to boost water bottler fee by $500

CBC NEWS | JANUARY 18, 2017

“Huge shift” underway on issue of bottled water

GUELPH TODAY | JANUARY 18, 2017

“Urgent” meeting on Nestlé’s plans in Centre Wellington pack ’em in

GUELPH TODAY | JANUARY 12, 2017

Councillor scolds Nestlé for proposed one-on-one meetings

CBC NEWS | JANUARY 6, 2017

Email from Nestlé seen as inappropriate by township councillor

GUELPH MERCURY TRIBUNE | JANUARY 6, 2017

Groups accuse Nestlé, Centre Wellington of “backroom deal” to privatize water

CBC NEWS | JANUARY 4, 2017

 

 

 

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