Renewal of Nestle Water Permit for Puslinch
The ministry renewed a Permit To Take Water (PTTW) for Nestlé Waters Canada for a two-year period, with strict conditions to protect existing water users and the natural environment.
Nestlé takes water in Wellington County for bottling and made application to renew its PTTW in Puslinch (Aberfoyle) without an increase in either rate or amount. The ministry found this water taking to be sustainable. Although studies have shown that Nestlé's water taking does not impact existing users or local surface waters, the ministry is only renewing the permit for two years at this time. The permit will require Nestlé to conduct ongoing studies and monitoring during that period.
Ministry review of application
The Puslinch PTTW expiry date was June 2007. Nestlé submitted its application for a five-year renewal term prior to expiry and had been operating under an extension of its permit conditions until a decision was made on the renewal. The application was posted on the Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR) registry on April 2, 2007, and it received over 6,000 submissions.
Ministry scientific staff who have expertise in water resource management thoroughly reviewed the Puslinch PTTW renewal application and considered all comments before making recommendations. The ministry delayed its decision in order to carefully assess the potential surface water impacts in Mill Creek and make a sound scientific decision on the permit renewal.
The ministry has put in place several strict conditions and safeguards to protect existing water users and the natural environment. As the Nestlé water taking has the potential to remove water from Mill Creek, a precautionary measure of additional monitoring and testing is required as part of conditions.
The permit contains extensive monitoring conditions for both surface water and groundwater. It requires a prolonged pumping test during summer to confirm that previous surface water impacts are not seasonal and to refine and define the zone of groundwater influence from the pumping. Additional surface water monitoring is required. The permit also requires the company to conduct and report on biological inventory in the Mill Creek and to prepare and implement a stream habitat mapping plan.
The ministry will continue to closely oversee Nestlé's water takings.