Public Values

International company to bottle, export small town Ontario municipal water

Plans include selling tap water back to local schoolchildren.

If Aquablue gets its way, this chocolate kiss could become a water dropby Ottawa Riverkeeper

July 15, 2009 — There's trouble on-tap in Smiths Falls. On June 1, 2009 Aquablue Spring Water International announced plans to move in to the former Hershey Canada plant, with the intention of bottling municipal water for foreign export. The news came as a relief to some after the community of 10,000 suffered a series of devastating economic losses; the closure of the Hershey plant, the forced shut down of a local health facility, and downsizing in the packaging/paper industry. Thanks to a positively spun press conference, the promise of new jobs and creation of a "major (local) industry" many are singing praises – even the Mayor is on record as "delighted". So what's the big deal? It's hard to know where to begin …

The opening of this bottled water plant should be raising alarm bells

According to research from the Polaris Institute, an advocate for municipal tap water, Aquablue and its partners focus on exporting to foreign markets including the Middle East, China and India. Water is arguably our most valuable resource. Canadian municipalities are already facing water shortages and the predictions for future domestic water resources are gloomy. Canadian watersheds are supposed to be protected by federal and provincial prohibitions against transferring water out of a water basin...

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  Smiths Falls Bottled Water, by Meredith Brown, Ottawa Riverkeeper, July 15 2009

Posted: July 31, 2009

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