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Ontario: New Moratorium on Water Bottling Operations

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Ontario is taking action to protect the province's water resources for future generations by proposing a two-year moratorium on new or expanded water takings from groundwater by bottling companies, as well as stricter rules for renewals of existing permits. The proposed moratorium is the first of a number of steps the province will be taking to further protect Ontario's clean water. It will apply to every water bottling facility that takes groundwater and is required to have a permit under the Ontario Water Resources Act. Proposed rules would reduce the duration of permit renewal applications from 10 years to a maximum of five years, as well as require increased public transparency, new operating guidelines, mandatory reductions on water taking during drought and further scientific studies.

While the proposed moratorium is in place, Ontario also plans to:


  • Undertake research to improve understanding of groundwater in Ontario 
  • Review existing rules for adequate protection of groundwater for future generations
  • Receive public input and feedback on Ontario's current groundwater permitting process and groundwater management moving forward.



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