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Nestlé Waters in Ontario: Know the Facts

Nestlé Waters is draining Ontario’s water.

Our water takings are sustainable.

We monitor the aquifer on an hourly basis and have been doing so for almost 20 years. We have over 80 monitoring points in Aberfoyle, and over 50 in Erin. All of our data is collected and verified by third party experts, and is peer-reviewed by many stakeholders.

If there was any evidence of a long-term declining trend, we would be able to identify it immediately and alter our operations to address it.

In Ontario, spring water bottlers account for only 0.01% of the water permitted in the province.

Groundwater is a renewable resource if managed sustainably, and the water we use is naturally replenished through the water cycle.

Locally, water spring bottling accounts for 0.6% of the permits in the Grand River Watershed.

According to data compiled by the Grand River Conservation Authority, water bottling in the Grand River Watershed accounts for only 0.6% of the water permitted within the watershed. 

Nestlé Waters pays next to nothing to take water in Ontario.

Spring water bottlers in Ontario are the only ones who pay $503.71 per million litres.

Nestlé Waters pays the rate set by the provincial government. We do not receive a special rate for water use. While it makes for catchy headlines, we are not taking millions of litres of water for free. We pay $503.71 per million litres of water, in addition to a permitting fee. The rate we pay for water goes towards the Ministry for research and to manage our permits.

No one in Ontario actually pays for water.

What we pay for in our homes is the cost associated with infrastructure, quality and delivery of water.

We create good quality jobs for Ontario residents and support local businesses.

Nestlé Waters’ Ontario presence results in a total of 1100 jobs province-wide and more than $241 million in economic activity.

Nestlé Waters is a global company, and not part of the Wellington County community.

We are a global company with a significant Canadian presence, and have been operating in Canada for nearly two decades.

Our employees don’t just work with the local community, they ARE the local community.

It is easy to forget, but Nestlé Waters Canada, like any company, is made up of people. Here in Ontario, our employees care about the environment and the well-being of their local communities, just like you do. They live, work and raise their families in the same communities where we operate, and for that reason, they are just as passionate as you are about protecting their neighbors and the natural resources of the area.

We just celebrated 19 years of sustainable operations, and we’re proud of it.

2019 marks our 19th year operating in Canada, and whether through a strong commitment to water stewardship, volunteering, or community investment, we aim to make a positive impact every day.

We are committed to local causes and organizations and support them regularly.

We support many community organizations here in the province through donations of product, resources, time, and money. Nestlé Waters Canada employees volunteer in the communities where they live and work to support meaningful community projects.

Nestlé’s CEO believes water is not a human right. I saw the video being circulated online.

We absolutely, unequivocally believe that water is a human right.

Safe, clean drinking water is essential to human life, and we believe that access to it is a fundamental human right.  Everyone should have consistent access to quality water to meet daily hydration, cooking and hygiene needs.

The online video claiming otherwise is over 14 years old and depicts someone who is no longer our CEO.

Critics use a video interview that our former Chairman Peter Brabeck-Letmathe gave in 2005 – over 13 years ago – to claim that he thinks all water sources should be privatized. This is simply false.

The video is edited by critics to be intentionally misleading in order to advance a false narrative about our company.

Mr. Brabeck’s comments were taken out of context and engineered by critics to create an inaccurate soundbite that would scare and anger viewers.

Nestlé’s current chairman has affirmed that the company believes water is a human right.

As recently as March 2018, Nestlé current Chairman of the Board Paul Bulcke publicly stated: “At Nestlé, we unequivocally believe that access to water is a basic human right. Everyone, everywhere in the world, has the right to clean, safe water for drinking and sanitation.”

Nestlé Waters is trying to privatize water supplies in Canada. I heard you outbid a town to buy a water source.

Community water supply needs always come first.

We do not compete with municipalities for water supplies. Ever.

Although it makes for catchy headlines, we did not outbid Centre Wellington for a water source.

In fact, after we found out that the Township was the anonymous counter offer on the property, we offered to donate the well and property. Although a moratorium on new or expanded water bottling permits is in place, we remain open to working with Centre Wellington and residents to explore opportunities for partnership.

Nestlé Waters is pumping water illegally on expired permits.

Our permits and operations in Ontario are completely legal.

Even though our Aberfoyle permit technically expired in July 2016 and Erin in August 2017, under the Government of Ontario’s Water Resources Act we are allowed to operate under the conditions of the current permit until the government makes a decision on the permit renewal applications.

We are working through the permit application process.

In December 2016, the Ontario Government announced several new technical and procedural requirements for water bottlers to complete in their permit renewal applications. We have been working for the past few years to include these new requirements in our permit applications (which include several new scientific evaluations).

Science and data guides everything we do.

We have been conducting extensive monitoring of the groundwater levels and surrounding ecosystem of our operations for almost 20 years. All of our data shows that our operations do not have any negative impact on the aquifers and there is no evidence of any long-term declining trends.

Nestlé Waters is stealing water from Six Nations of the Grand River - who don’t even have access to clean water.

Nestlé Waters Canada has been meeting with the land and resources team, as directed by Chief Ava Hill for more than four years and have developed a positive working relationship.

It is important to note that access to water on First Nations reserves is the responsibility of the Federal Government. More specifically, Six Nations of the Grand River has a large water treatment plant that draws surface water from the Grand River. Unfortunately, they do not have the infrastructure to deliver water to everyone in their community. We will continue to meet with the team at Land and Resources team and participate in Community Open House and other events on the Six Nations Reserve.

We are looking to create shared value.

We continue to work very diligently on this relationship to identify ways to where Nestlé Waters Canada can have a positive impact on the Six Nations of the Grand River.