Triton (formerly Nestlé) water-taking and Guelph’s water supply

Triton has its own well in Aberfoyle, outside the City of Guelph

The company’s water-taking activities are regulated by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks.

Triton Water Canada’s (formerly Nestlé Waters Canada’s) water taking doesn’t currently impact Guelph’s groundwater supply directly, and we encourage all water users to exercise care and stewardship.

Guelph gets its water from the Speed River and Eramosa River subwatersheds. Further downstream, Triton takes water from the Mill Creek subwatershed. They’re all located in the Grand River watershed, but the environmental effects taking water from Mill Creek watershed don’t currently extend to the Speed and Eramosa subwatersheds.

The City uses about 45 million litres per day. In 2015, Nestlé used about 2.1 million litres per day (less than five per cent of the City’s average daily water use) and their permit allowed them to take up to 3.6 million litres per day (eight per cent of the City’s average daily water use).

Municipalities don’t have to pay the province to use water, we do pay an application fee for new permits and for permit renewals.

Community stakeholders, including the City of Guelph, can comment on Nestlé’s application to take water when they are posted on the Ontario Environmental Registry.

In addition to promoting water protection and conservation, Guelph encourages people to use refillable water bottles to reduce the environmental impact of single-use plastic bottles. The Guelph Water Wagon is available for special events; City buildings and parks offer water fountains and refilling stations; some City vending machines offer refillable water bottles for the same price as other beverages, while others offer a selection of several beverages including bottled water.

Guelph responds to provincial water-taking reviews

City of Guelph position on Triton’s 2021 application to renew its permit to take water

We have reviewed existing, public information to inform our position on Triton Water Canada’s (formerly Nestle Waters Canada’s) application to renew its permit to take water.

Overall, we are not opposed to the renewal of the permit as it does not interfere with our current water takings. However, we are concerned about the availability of water supply in the area to satisfy future community growth.

We strongly recommend a five-year renewal term instead of a 10-year period, and ask the Ministry not to increase the permit beyond its current approved rate and to consider the water needs of the greater community and the constraints of the natural ecosystem to provide sustainable drinking water supplies.

This position is consistent with the City’s previous opinion of Nestlé’s 2007 water-taking application, and their subsequent renewal applications in 2011 and 2016.

Official City of Guelph comments on water-taking permits for bottling

In 2016, we wrote to the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks in support of the proposed two-year moratorium on new water-taking permits and renewals for water bottling purposes. Our submission included recommended considerations and changes to Ontario’s water-taking regulations. Read the complete, Council-approved submission to the MOECP’s environmental registry 012-8783 (November 30, 2016).

Throughout the Province’s review process, we continued to submit comments on each posting to the environmental registry:

The Province’s moratorium on new and renewed water-taking permits for bottling purposes ended in April 2021 following changes to the Ontario Water Resources Act that include restrictions on new or increased groundwater takings for water bottling and increased water taking fees to support groundwater research and management.

Visit the Province’s website for more information on water-taking permits.

For more information

Water Services
[email protected]