Why Nestlé’s Aberfoyle well matters so much to Guelph residents


Protesters opposed to the renewal of a water-taking permit for Nestlé gather in Guelph, Ont., on Monday night before a city council meeting. (Kate Bueckert/CBC)

A showdown between water advocates and politicians is expected Monday night in Guelph, Ont., over the divisive issue of Nestlé Waters Canada seeking renewal of a water-taking permit for its bottling plant in nearby Aberfoyle.

The permit has become a flashpoint in a battle between environmentalists, community leaders and corporate interests, after it was revealed that the province only charges bottled water companies $3.71 per million litres of water. Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne has said she plans to ask the province’s environment minister to review permit conditions for all bottlers of water.

The issue is especially crucial to Guelph, which is the largest city in Canada that relies solely on groundwater for its water supply. The water being taken in Aberfoyle is from the same aquifer that feeds Guelph’s supply…

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