B.C. water for sale? Outrage sparked over selling groundwater to Nestlé

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An online petition is circulating calling on the B.C. government to charge a fair market price for water sales to Nestlé amid water restrictions and drought-like conditions.

The B.C. government currently charges $2.25 per million litres of water.

Capilano Reservoir/Shutterstock

SEE ALSO: Stage 2 water restrictions now in effect across Metro Vancouver

The petition titled “Nestlé is about to suck B.C. dry — for $2.25 per million litres to be exact” on SumOfUs.org claims the consumer would pay $180 to buy enough bottled water to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool, while Nestlé pays just $6.25.

“B.C. has some of the purest, cleanest and most delicious water in the world — and Nestlé doesn’t think anything of sucking it out of the ground for a pittance and selling it back to us in a plastic bottle. Nor does the BC government, apparently,” the petition reads.

“Nestlé’s chairman says that ‘extremist’ NGOs are responsible for the idea that water is a human right, and that water should have a market price – apparently he thinks that the ‘market price’ for him is $2.25.”

The petition has 218,884 signatures at the time of publication, just short of their goal of 220,000.

Once the goal is reached, the petition will be delivered directly to the B.C. government.

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SEE ALSO: Abbotsford launches "sprinkler patrol team" to monitor water usage

A lack of rain and a hot, dry summer has made reservoir levels in Metro Vancouver sink below what is considered the normal range, leading to stage two water restrictions across all cities, and stage three restrictions in Abbotsford.

Stage two restrictions limits lawn watering to once a week and requires all public fountains to shut down. Stage three restrictions bans watering lawns altogether.

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Lauren Sundstrom Lauren is a Staff Writer and Projects Assistant at Vancity Buzz. She is a graduate of BCIT's Broadcast and Online Journalism program. She loves reporting on breaking news and lifestyle content. If you feel like you have a story that needs to be told, fire her a tweet.
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