Ontario is hiking up the cost of water bottling by a whopping 13.5K%.
While currently the cost for companies to take groundwater is $3.71 per every million litres, the province announced it will be adding $500 on top of that starting August 1.
The new fee will help recover costs associated with managing groundwater taken by water bottlers, including supporting scientific research on the environmental impacts as well as enhanced data analysis on groundwater taken for water bottling, according to the government.
“As the impacts from climate change become more prevalent, Ontario is taking action to ensure water resources are better protected and that we have the best science available,” said Minister of Environment and Climate Change Glen R. Murray, in a statement. “This increased fee, along with the other measures we’ve taken, will help increase groundwater protection and scientific understanding of how to best manage this vital resource.”
According to the province, the additional fee is a key part of Ontario’s strong protections for groundwater, which include:
- Placing a moratorium on all new and expanded permits to take water from groundwater sources for water bottling
- Introducing new, stricter rules for renewals of existing bottled water permits
- Undertaking further research to ensure long-term water protection, including considering the impacts of climate change and future demand on water sources
- Engaging Indigenous partners, communities and industry on changes to water quantity management practices.
Ontario is known for having the best protected drinking water in the world. Provincially, water bottling companies have to apply for permits to take water from ground sources if the facility takes more than 50,000 litres on any day.