Ontario plans to impose a two-year hold on all applications for water-taking permits for new or expanding water bottle operations.
The proposed rules, which consider significant issues like climate change and population growth, will apply to all water bottling facilities that take groundwater.
Restrictions will reduce the duration of permit renewal application from ten years to a maximum of five years, while requiring increased public transparency, new operating guidelines, mandatory reduction on water taking during drought and further scientific studies.
“Water is essential for the well-being and economic strength in our communities,” added Minister of the Environment and Climate Change Glen Murray. “With a changing climate, and specifically with the impacts from drought and increasing population growth, we want to work with the people of Ontario to make sure that we are properly protecting this vital resource.”
Permits will also have to illustrate how they benefit a community’s future generations. During the moratorium, the province will improve its understanding of groundwater and review existing rules for its adequate protection for the future.
Ontarians can comment on the proposed two-year moratorium through the Environmental Registry until Dec. 1, 2016.