As part of Ontario’s plan to protect water resources, the province is proposing a new fee for water bottling companies that take groundwater.
Water bottlers are currently charged $3.71 for every million litres of groundwater they take. “Fair pricing will help ensure those who are benefitting today from water resources do their part to safeguard it for tomorrow,” Geln Murray, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change said. Ontario is proposing water bottlers pay an additional $500 fee, which would bring the cost up to $503.71 for every million litres of groundwater taken.
The proposed fee would help recover the costs of managing groundwater taken by water bottlers, including supporting scientific research, policies, outreach and compliance. It would further build upon Ontario’s recent actions to protect groundwater, including:
- Placing a moratorium on all new and expanded permits to take water from groundwater sources for water bottling
- Reviewing existing rules for water bottlers and undertaking further research to ensure long-term groundwater protection, including considering the impacts of climate change and future demand on water sources
- Engaging Indigenous partners on groundwater management
- Consulting with communities and industry on changes to groundwater management practices.
People across Ontario are encouraged to provide their input on the proposed new fee for water bottlers through the Environmental Registry, available until March 20, 2017.