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Ontario Taking Next Step to Protect Water Resources

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Ontario Taking Next Step to Protect Water Resources

Proposed Fee Would Support Better Groundwater Research and Management

As part of Ontario's plan to protect water resources, the province is proposing a new fee for water bottling companies that take groundwater.

Currently, water bottlers are charged $3.71 for every million litres of groundwater they take. 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, and 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.

Protecting Ontario's groundwater sources for future generations is part of our plan to create jobs, grow our economy and help people in their everyday lives.

Quick Facts

  • If approved, the proposed fee would be among the highest in Canada.
  • Ontario finalized a two-year moratorium on new and expanded water takings by bottling companies on Dec. 16, 2016. The moratorium will remain in effect until Jan. 1, 2019.
  • Ontario is also seeking feedback from the public on stricter rules for existing water bottling companies that use groundwater. The proposed rules are posted on the Environmental Registry for comment and will remain open until Jan. 31, 2017.
  • In Ontario, water bottling facilities must apply for permits to take water from groundwater sources if the facility takes more than 50,000 litres of water in a day.
  • Ontario’s drinking water is among the best protected in the world.

Additional Resources


“Ontario is committed to making sure we protect groundwater resources — now and in the future. Fair pricing will help ensure those who are benefiting today from water resources do their part to safeguard it for tomorrow.”

Glen Murray

Minister of the Environment and Climate Change

Media Contacts



Environment and Energy