http://www.digitaljournal.com/news/environment/call-for-nestl-to-pay-for-groundwater-extraction/article/427112

Call for Nestlé to pay for groundwater extraction Special

Posted Mar 1, 2015 by Tim Sandle
A consumer group has demanded that the British Columbia Premier call in Nestlé’s water rates for review. This is, the group insists, to protect Canada’s water supply.
Orange County Water District is pleased and happy to be celebrating the fifth anniversary of their g...
Orange County Water District is pleased and happy to be celebrating the fifth anniversary of their ground water replacement system.
Courtesy of the Orange County Water District, media Dept.
The campaign has been launched by campaign group SumOfUs.org, which has a global reach and operates within a number of countries, including Canada. The central issue is that the administration of British Columbia has decided that it will charge the food manufacturer Nestlé $2.25 per 1 million gallons of clean,drinking water extracted from Canada. Nestlé uses this water to generate its own revenues. This followed a period of time when Nestlé was taking water for no charge whatsoever. This was because British Columbia was the only region in Canada that did not level a groundwater extraction charge.
Groundwater refers to the water located beneath Earth's surface in soil pore spaces and in the fractures of rock formations. Groundwater supplies drinking water for a sizeable proportion of the population in most countries.
To SumOfUs.org this level of cross-charging is woefully insignificant. For this reason, the campaigners have issued a petition. The petition has, to date, been signed by around 80,000 people, including some 40,000 who reside in British Columbia.
Furthermore, according to the campaign group, water pricing is stilted heavily towards corporate interests over consumers. Here, if a Canadian citizen was to collect groundwater to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool, the cost would be $180. However, under the current pricing scheme, Nestlé are required to pay less than $7 for the same quantity of water.
The petition calls upon the Premier of British Columbia - Christy Clark - to review the rates and to charge Nestlé a “fair price” for groundwater extraction. Liz McDowell, Campaigns Director for SumOfUs.org, told Digital Journal that: “Christy Clark is selling British Columbians short. At a time when water is in scarce supply globally, it is outrageous that Nestlé can draw limitless amounts of Canada's natural resources to sell for a huge profit.”
Liz McDowell adds that: “Canada has some of the purest, cleanest and most delicious water in the world.”
In response, according to CBC News, British Columbia Environment Minister Mary Polak said that the charge is a fee to access the water, not the cost of the water itself, which is free. Polak told the news station: "We don't sell the water. We never have in British Columbia. If you create water as a commodity for government — as a revenue stream — imagine what that does to conservation."