nestlewater.jpgImagine being able to fill up a bottle with water for free, and then sell it back to someone for $1.19.  That’s essentially what’s happening in Hope.

The WaterWealth Project has issues with the fact that Nestle is allowed to extract ground water near Hope without paying for it AND without having proper environmental standards and monitoring.
Waterwealth campaign director Sheila Muxlow says the provincial regulations, which date back to 1909, need a serious overhaul to protect and compensate local communities and first nations groups.
Muxlow says it just doesn’t seem to be a priority for the province.

“We are very lucky here in BC to have quite an abundance of water.  We don’t have the experiences like they do out in the prairies or down south where there are towns that have major water shortages.  I think there hasn’t been a strong enough public outcry that says we can’t go any further until we address this issue with our groundwater.”

Muxlow says Nestle pulls out 260 million litres each year, enough to fill up about 107 Olympic size swimming pools.

There are currently laws pertaining to surface water in the province, but not groundwater.  Muxlow says her beef isn’t so much with Nestle, which does provide a number of local jobs, but she does have a serious problem with the Ministry of Environment, which has been dragging it’s heels on an overhaul of the water protection act since 2006.  Also, to be fair to Nestle, they have voluntarily reported their numbers to the District of Hope.  The same cannot be said for some other bottled water companies who do the same thing…because they’re not required to.

If you’d like to learn more about the issue, or to donate to the WaterWealth Project, you can check out their website HERE