Residents of Wellington County will team up with the Wellington Water Watchers today to stand up and say “no” to Nestlé. Those against the taking of groundwater will rally on Middlebrook Road and march to the site where Nestlé is proposing an application for a new well, expressing their opposition to any permit being issued for this site.
— WellingtonWaterWatch (@wwaterwatchers) November 24, 2017
The rally comes after news reports that Ontario is allowing several bottled water companies to take up to 7.6 million litres of groundwater per day on expired permits. A two-year moratorium to take water for bottling came into effect on January 1, and water bottlers now have to pay a higher fee.
Throughout the moratorium, the province is giving the companies who bottle the groundwater a longer lead time — which could reach 18 months in some cases — to amend renewal applications to comply with new technical requirements. Nine expired permits from seven companies remain in effect until the government rules on their applications.
At the rally, a local group by the name of the “Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Aquifers” will perform their five-minute street theatre performance of “Wynne or Lose,” that urges Premier Kathleen Wynne to say “no” to Nestlé and to phase out permits to bottle water in Wellington County and Ontario.
The performance includes three characters by the names of “Snidely Bigwater,” “Little Miss Middlebrook” and, of course, “Premier Kathleen Wynne,” and demonstrates the moral choices that the premier faces in protecting local groundwater with humour and wit.