LETTER: Water bottling company would pay government next to nothing for extraction

Dear editor,

Did you ever think you would find yourself paying $2.25 for a one-litre bottle of BC water?

Chances are you could pay even more at restaurants, theatres, convenience stores or even community centres.

Now, what if you were told you could pay $2.25 for one million litres of thirst-quenching, alkaline awesome Vancouver Island water?

Sound unbelievable? Hope you’re sitting!

$2.25 is the highest industrial rate that can be charged in the province of British Columbia for every million litres of water extracted by a water bottling company.

The water extraction licence for the property in Merville is for 3.65 million litres per year. So, if paying the highest administration fee possible, $2.25 per million litres, the total, estimated price paid to the province for all the allowable water that could be withdrawn from the aquifer on Sackfield Road, over an entire year, is $8.20.

Unbelievable, but true, that $8.20 is the most the B.C. government would charge to withdraw 3.65 million litres of community water, to be bottled in plastic and sold back to us at a substantial profit.

$8.20 cost for 3.65 million litres of water. You might calculate, even at $2 retail per one litre, a rather healthy sum could be made by being licensed to withdraw a public resource at virtually no cost whatsoever.

Based on the results of this equation, it’s no wonder the CVRD has a rezoning application for the Sackville residential property.

One doesn’t have to stare too long at this picture to conclude that something is dreadfully wrong.

Sue Smith

Courtenay

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