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Nestlé Waters reduces pumping by 20% in response to drought conditions

by Mike Robinson

ABERFOYLE - With the local region under Level 2 drought conditions, Nestlé Waters Canada has reduced its water taking by 20%.

The Grand River Conservation Authority defines Level 2 conditions as being when flows are less than 50 per cent of their normal summer low flow and/or precipitation has been less than 60% of the average.

At that time, the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change will send letters to holders of Permits to Take Water to ask them to voluntarily reduce consumption by 20%.

In a recent telephone interview with the Advertiser, Nestlé Waters Canada corporate affairs director Jennifer Kerr said the company has cut back production as a result of local drought conditions.

“We have been compliant with the voluntary request to reduce by 10% when it was at Level 1 and 20% when it reached Level 2,” said Kerr.

She noted Nestlé is a member of the Grand River Low Water Response Team.

Kerr said “in April 2016, as part of our normal process, we submitted our application to renew our permit for our Aberfoyle production source to the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC).”

Kerr stated that although Nestlé’s permit expired on July 31 “as part of normal procedure for all permit holders, we have received confirmation from the MOECC that during this application phase, under the Ontario Waters Resources Act, Section 34.1 (6), the existing Permit to Take Water remains intact until the MOECC moves forward on a decision.”

As such, Kerr stated the company will continue to operate as usual.

“Our application was submitted to the MOECC more than 90 days in advance of expiry as required by legislation.”

Kerr said until the ministry makes a decision one way or another, the company can continue under its current permit.

“We also have a letter from the MOECC which states we can continue to operate under our current permit.”

Should the region move up to Level 3, all water users would be asked to stop all non-essential consumption.

The Grand River Low Water Response Team may ask the province to impose mandatory restrictions on those holding Permits to Take Water.

A Level 3 low water level is defined as being when flows are less than 30% of their normal summer low flow and/or precipitation has been less than 40% of the average.


August 26, 2016


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