Water
Water purification and wastewater treatment at neighbourhood and industrial levels

News Briefs

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  • Boralex closes financing for Ontario wind project +

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  • Metlife achieves carbon neutrality +

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The government of Ontario is taking steps to protect the province’s water resources in the face of a changing climate and increased populations by proposing to implement a two-year moratorium on new or expanded water takings from groundwater by bottling companies. There will also be stricter rules for the renewal of existing permits.

“Water is essential for the well-being and economic strength in our communities. With a changing climate, and specifically with the impacts from drought and increasing population growth, we want to work with the people of Ontario to make sure that we are properly protecting this vital resource,” said Glen Murray, minister of the Environment and Climate Change for Ontario.

The proposed moratorium is the first of a number of steps the province will be taking to further protect Ontario's clean water. It will apply to every water bottling facility that takes groundwater and is required to have a permit under the Ontario Water Resources Act. Proposed rules would reduce the duration of permit renewal applications from 10 years to a maximum of five years, as well as require increased public transparency, new operating guidelines, mandatory reductions on water taking during drought and further scientific studies.

Comments on the proposed moratorium are due December 1.

As part of the province’s ongoing efforts to protect its water resources, the government is also closely examining how pricing and other tools could be used to help manage and protect the province's water resources, and will provide an update later this fall.

While the proposed moratorium is in place, Ontario also plans to:

  • Undertake research to improve understanding of groundwater in Ontario
  • Review existing rules for adequate protection of groundwater for future generations
  • Receive public input and feedback on Ontario's current groundwater permitting process and groundwater management moving forward.

Nestlé Waters Canada lauded the provincial government on the announcement.

“We are fully supportive and share the Ontario Government's commitment to protecting water resources," said Debbie Moore, president of Nestlé Waters Canada. "Through investment in an industry-leading monitoring program over the last 15 years in Aberfoyle and Erin, we have been sharing information with the government and local community. We will continue to offer this science and transparent data to all stakeholders that share our commitment to water sustainability and conservation throughout this process."

The company said that it plans to be fully engaged in the process and is committed to being more transparent on water withdrawal data. Unfortunately, this won’t mean more data being made available to residents close to the Middlebrook water source.

“The two-year moratorium, announced today by the government, means there will not be a pump test on the Middlebrook water source over this period. As a result, the community will have to wait for critical data to inform future planning,” the company said in a statement.