I am strongly opposed to the prospect of granting a bottled water company licence to exploit groundwater in Salmon Arm.
Groundwater is public water, and it is mostly a non-renewable resource. Just six per cent of global groundwater can be replenished within a span of 50 years.
Groundwater sources can be harmed or drained by the operations of bottled water plants. And bottled water companies pay next to nothing for the public water they use. In B.C., they pay just $2.25 per million litres.
In addition, bottled water is up to 2,000 times more energy intensive than tap water, according to the California-based Pacific Institute. If the water used to make the plastic is taken into account, it takes three litres of water to produce one litre of bottled water.
Water should be treated as a common good to be shared by everyone, and as the responsibility of all. Because water is central to life and ecosystem health, it should be governed by principles that are based on sustainability and justice so that water can be preserved for nature, and for future generations.