Published: October 5, 2016

    Nestle’s Outbidding of Ontario Town for Well Water Leads to Boycott

    Many consumers may believe, based on the flowing rivers in promotional images and logos, that Nestle’s bottled water products derive their water from locations where fresh water is abundant. As opposing forces clash in Ontario, Canada over the intended purchase of land and well water, however, it’s becoming clear that big water companies take water wherever they can find it – even if it means upsetting and possibly endangering the local community.

    Nestle Waters Canada recently placed a bid to the water rights of a well local to the Township of Central Wellington. The company already pumps more than 950,000 gallons of water a day from their nearby location in Aberfoyle, but decided to try to purchase the well near Elora, Ontario, as a way to supplement their existing business in the area.

    Nestle learned of a competing bid for the well and dropped their prior conditions in order to finalize the purchase. The Township of Central Wellington placed the competing bid as an effort to safeguard the future of their most precious resource, but the giant corporation muscled them out.

    The citizens of the township completely rely on groundwater for their water needs. It has come to light that Nestle is only charged $3.71 per one million liters of drinking water pumped, meaning that the company is pumping water at rates over 500 times less expensive than if they were to extract water from surrounding areas.

    Residents and activist groups are calling for a boycott of all Nestle products. The purchase of the well is considered exceptionally harmful due to the ongoing drought conditions in the area. Between April and June the province of Ontario has received rainfall 100 milliliters below the average level, according to the National Post.

    The Council of Canadians has called for a nationwide boycott of all Nestle products in Canada in response to the recent purchase. The group states:

    “This summer, while many parts of southern Ontario faced drought conditions, Nestlé continued to pump more than 4 million litres of groundwater every day from an aquifer near Guelph. Nestlé pays less than $15 per day for this water, which it then ships out in hundreds of millions of single-use plastic bottles for sale all over North America.”

    The continued exploitation of local lands and of the world’s water supply by companies like Nestle will create irreversible consequences in multiple respects. With every purchase of water they can cheaply pump, Nestle guarantees that the amount of single-use water bottles littering the Earth will increase. The plastic waste epidemic will only worsen.

    In addition, companies like Nestle hoard the world’s most valuable resource in a time where climate change and pollution has already limited our global water supply. The only way to effectively reduce these acts of pollution is to shrink the market for bottled water.

    The solution is simple: stop relying on bottled water. They pay $15 for more than four million liters of water per day. Why are you paying $2 for one bottle of water? Save money and save the environment by changing your lifestyle and consumption habits. Install NSF-certified drinking filters in your home or a whole house carbon filter and invest in reusable water bottles you can fill again and again. Convenience comes at too high a cost – don’t let Nestle turn our world into a landfill.