Bottled water companies getting tapped for higher fees

The Canadian Press has learned that Ontario is proposing to charge water-bottling companies a little over $500 per million litres, up from the current fee of just a few dollars.
   
Public outcry erupted last year over the small fee of $3.71 that the province currently charges for every million litres on all water-taking permits.
   
A government source says a proposal to increase the charge to $503.71 per million litres for water-bottling companies who take from groundwater will be posted this morning on the regulatory registry for a mandatory 60-day comment period.
   
The government is still reviewing other types of water-taking permits, such as ones for industrial purposes.
   
The current charge of $3.71 per million litres of water is on top of a fee of $750 for low- or medium-risk water takings, or $3,000 for those considered a high risk to cause an adverse environmental impact.
   
The province has already proposed new restrictions for bottled water companies who want to renew permits and it has imposed a two-year moratorium on permits for new or expanded bottled water operations after Nestle purchased a well that the township of Centre Wellington wanted for its growing community.