Water travels the easy Route.. the fastest way down the hill.
The price of a litre of bottled water in B.C. is often higher than a litre of gasoline.
However, the price paid by the world’s largest bottled water company for taking 265 million litres of fresh water every year from a well in the Fraser Valley — not a cent.
Because of B.C.’s lack of groundwater regulation, Nestlé Waters Canada — a division of the multi-billion-dollar Switzerland-based Nestlé Group, the world’s largest food company — is not required to measure, report, or pay a penny for the millions of litres of water it draws from Hope and then sells across Western Canada.
According to the provincial Ministry of Environment, “B.C. is the only jurisdiction in Canada that doesn’t regulate groundwater use.”
“The province does not license groundwater, charge a rental for groundwater withdrawals or track how much bottled water companies are taking from wells,” said a Ministry of Environment spokesperson in an email to The Province.
This isn’t new. Critics have been calling for change for years now, saying the lack of groundwater regulation is just one outdated example from the century-old Water Act.
The Ministry of Environment has said they plan — in the 2014 legislature sitting — to introduce groundwater regulation with the proposed Water Sustainability Act, which would update and replace the existing Water Act, established in 1909. But experts note that successive governments have been talking about modernizing water for decades, but the issue keeps falling off the agenda.
Prevent Water Theft and Avoid Penalties: Be Sure Your Landscape Irrigation
System Is Properly Metered
As summer approaches, please take a moment to check your outside water connections for
landscape irrigation. If your system bypasses the meter, it has been installed illegally, and must
be corrected immediately.
A number of illegally connected irrigation systems were recently discovered during an audit and
field investigations by Utilities Department staff. We constantly monitor unusual losses of water
in order to locate and correct the problems before they impact the finances of the department,
and ultimately the water rates for all of us.
Unmetered water connections of any kind, whether intentional or accidental, are illegal and are
considered to be water theft. Illegal water use has a negative impact on all Township water
customers because they must bear the burden of additional costs. Because water theft can
cause such serious problems to the public water supply, it is considered to be a serious offense,
and can result in fines as well as civil or criminal prosecution.
Property owners, associations, tenants, or private contractors must help the Township prevent
water theft by making sure their systems are legally metered. If you are unsure whether your
water system is in compliance, please contact the Utilities office at 734-822-3105 for a free
inspection by the Utilities staff.
Your assistance in discouraging the illegal use of water is greatly appreciated, and will benefit all
of us who use the public water supply. Please contact the Utilities office at 734-822-3105 to
report any suspected illegal water activity.