B.C. Government to review water bottling admin fees

WATCH: An online petition calling on the government to start charging Nestlé more for taking our water for bottling is growing. And now the premier is weighing in. Catherine Urquhart reports.

Christy Clark says the B.C. Government will be reviewing bottling administration fees in the wake of growing criticism against Nestlé Waters.

The company takes approximately 230 million litres of fresh water every year from an aquifer in the Fraser Valley. They pay $2.25 for every million litres.

Previously, Nestlé was able to take the water for free, until new legislation was brought in last year.

With the recent wildfires and drought conditions in B.C., some residents say Nestlé should not be allowed to take the water or they should pay a lot more.

Clark says the government is going to take a look at those fees.

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“We are going to go back and look at the pricing for the big water bottlers in the province and make sure that that’s appropriate,” she says. “Because what we’ve heard is people say they don’t think it’s appropriate, they think that we should be at the top end, charging a little for some of that water that the big bottlers are extracting.”

“So we want to find a way to see whether or not we can do that and we’re going to go back and have a look at it.”

Clark says the Water Act allows government to be able to stop water bottlers taking water out of the aquifers in times of drought, but she would like to see British Columbians take advantage of our tap water.

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“I would remind everybody that we have the best tap water in the world in most of British Columbia and we should drink water from the tap,” says Clark. “I think that’s what people should do.”

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