I just wanted to write and thank you for the very informative article on the Miller Springs proposed expansion, and glad to see also that the Osoyoos newspaper reprinted it this morning.
The fact that it reads “Welcome to Canada’s only desert” on the welcome sign pretty much says it all to me. Anyone considering hauling 50,000 litres of water a day (that adds up to 20 million litres a year, or eight Olympic swimming pools worth) out of a desert needs to give their heads a shake. A proper study needs to precede this venture without a doubt.
I think a major factor here is that the new groundwater legislation in the Water Sustainability Act is coming into effect in January 2016 and as a result, water-bottling companies are desperately wanting to gain local level approval for their expansion(s) before the legislation is ratified.
If they wait (or spend time on studies) then their expansion(s) will not be possible because sensible laws will prohibit them from doing whatever they want.
As I am sure you know it took decades if not generations to undo some of the past mistakes where large corporations were allowed to run riot in B.C.’s forestry and fisheries industries. Hopefully the same mistakes aren’t repeated with B.C.’s water resources. At the very least water is set to become a pivotal issue in the next while.
It’s a small blessing that the land in the Miller Springs case happens to be a part of the Agricultural Land Reserve, because if it wasn’t it seems clear from the March 26 Legislative Transcript that neither the Ministry of Environment or the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations wanted anything to do with the issue.
Thanks again for the article. Your research was top notch.