In the piece, Kaats based his objections to bottled water on information long confirmed as false – mythology typically found on anti-bottled water activists’ websites like the Polaris Institute.
The bottled water industry is not a significant factor in the global access-to-water debate: for example, agriculture uses 70 per cent of available fresh water, and the bottled water industry well less than 1 per cent.
In Canada, water is owned by the Crown, it is not owned by private interests. Management of Canada’s water source falls under several pieces of legislation, including the Great Lakes Water Compact. The Canadian bottled water industry uses just .02 per cent of permitted water compared to thermal power generation (64 per cent), and manufacturing (14 per cent).
When it comes to the quality, safety, or regulation of bottled water, they can get the facts by visiting the Health Canada website.
The idea that money spent on bottled water is an investment not made in municipal water and sewer infrastructure is illogical. Canadians pay local, provincial, and federal taxes, partly so that government will invest in water and sewer infrastructure construction and maintenance. They spend their after-tax income on many consumer items, including bottled water. They do not spend money on bottled water at the expense of tap water.
If Kaats and others wish to protect this valuable resource for future generations, they should give consideration to calling on government to:
1. Make water and sewer infrastructure development and maintenance a priority;
2. Make residential, commercial, and industrial water takers pay their fair share of the real cost of water consumption;
3. Address the inefficient use of water by municipalities, agriculture, and industries; and
4. Require treatment of wastewater before it is returned to rivers, lakes, and oceans.
John B. Challinor II
Director of Corporate Affairs
Nestlé Waters Canada
Received February 14