This letter was sent to GuelphToday.com by Harry Oussoren in response to a recent letter about BlueTriton's water permit:
The letter from Shannon Hill concerning BlueTriton’s water taking permit renewal is saturated with misinformation and is slanderous. A response is required to state the facts and refute the fiction.
Ms. Hill alleges that “To add insult to injury, the permit even allows them to take water during droughts or low water advisories.”
Has the author read the Permit To Take Water conditions? Condition 3.3 states:
When a Low Water Advisory exists within the Grand River Conservation Authority watershed, the Permit Holder shall undertake measures outlined in the Low Water Response Plan, as described in Item 3 of Schedule A.
Golder Associates report “Nestle Waters of Canada Aberfoyle Site, 2020 Annual Monitoring Report” states that, in 2020, Nestle did voluntarily reduce its water taking rate in response to a request from the Grand Valley Conservation Authority.
Ms. Hill suggests that, based on media reports about experiences in California, the company may act similarly in Ontario. She likely does not seem realize that regulation is different in Ontario. Ontario does not have water boards which regulate on a local level. The provincial government stringently regulates and monitors all water takings and can withdraw the privilege when conditions warrant.
As a member of the hydrogeological community, I take offense at her insulting allegation that “No one knows the long term affects of siphoning this much water out of the ground and anyone who believes they do is a fool.”
Hydrogeology is a well-established science which has developed highly accurate models to predict the effects of long-term pumping based on past history. On behalf of the hydrogeological community, I would ask Ms. Hill to offer an apology for implying that hydrogeologists are “fools”. Her harsh words and fearmongering are based on emotion and not science or logic. Letters such as hers do little to paint a complete picture of the water bottling industry or the controls and understanding of the province’s groundwater resources.
If the opponents of Blue-Triton/Nestle are so concerned about the removal of three million liters of water a day at Aberfoyle, why do they not protest against the taking of water at golf courses where the daily pumping rate is more likely to be undertaken during times of drought to satisfy an unessential activity? And what about the breweries?