(Left to right) Randa Sultan, Anna Urban and Karen Hunter of the Water Guardians of Golden present their petition to MLA Doug Clovechok.

Water Guardians of Golden speak out

On Friday November 15, Karen Hunter and the Water Guardians of Golden presented Doug Clovechok, Golden’s MLA, with a petition with an ask for the province to stop issuing licenses for bottling water for bulk export. The petition had over 900 signatures at the time of its presentation.

The petition comes as a result of GoldenKey Investments Group purchase of a 20-acre parcel of land on Fisher Road, and their plans to build a water bottling plant to ship Golden’s water across the world.

“I never really thought about water before this, you kind of just turn the tap on and there it is, and it’s good,” said Hunter. “But when I heard that a company wanted to bottle it I just thought ‘oh no’ and it kind of woke me up.”

The Water Guardians of Golden was started when Hunter first heard that GoldenKey was attempting to get a license to bottle water out of the same aquifer that the Town of Golden draws its water from.

This all started when Hunter, concerned with the garbage and waste this would create with the use of disposable plastic bottles, not to mention the carbon footprint of having it shipped and trucked across the world, started a Facebook group so that people could discuss their opinions with what GoldenKey was doing.

In the Facebook group, Hunter quickly realized that if they wanted to affect change, the way to do it was to lobby with the provincial government with a hard-copy petition.

“Currently with the Water Sustainability Act, the provincial government can just give a licence, and they don’t even have to consult with or even inform the municipality that uses that water source,” said Hunter. “That wasn’t good enough for us. We’re working to change the legislation to make it protect water better.”

Hunter has been working with other groups across the province who have created similar petitions to the provincial government with success.

In fact, the wording of the petition for the Water Guardians of Golden came from a petition in Merville, which was successful in shutting down a private companies license to bottle water. The town of Merville has even taken it a step further, and have adopted a bylaw in the last few weeks to prevent water bottling in the future.

“I would eventually love to see that here,” said Hunter. “Our council has indicated that they’re open to it.”

What concerns Hunter most now, is the impact that allowing GoldenKey to bottle water will have on the future of Golden and the generations to come.

When licenses are granted, they don’t consider the watershed as a whole and the impact it could have on the future, according to Hunter. One of her main concerns right now is that the pumping tests conducted by GoldenKey to test the recharge rate of the aquifer was done in a very wet year, and could have produced misleading results.

“I don’t feel that there is enough protection for the future generations and I’m worried it’ll impact Golden’s ability to grow,” said Hunter. “We’ve always had water, but that may not always be the case. We don’t know all that much about our aquifer.”

Hunter is hopeful that the Water Guardians of Golden will be able to enact permanent changes. From her conversations with Clovechok, she’s hopeful that some key changes will be made to the Water Sustainability Act and that they will be well received by communities who are impacted by this.

Moving forward, Hunter hopes that the support from the community can continue, while the Guardians continue to work hard for Golden. She’s hoping that next she can see Golden become a Blue Community under the Council of Canadians to recognize and protect water as a human right.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

QUIZ: A celebration of dogs

These are the dog days of summer. How much do you know about dogs?

Haze over Okanagan and Shuswap skies may have drifted from Siberia

Few active wildifres so far this summer in B.C.

Heavy rain in Okanagan results in slowest start to fire season in four years

119 hectares of land burned so far this year, compared to 991 ha in 2019, and 3,835 ha in 2018

QUIZ: Put your knowledge of Canada to the test

How much do you know about our country?

Province releases report on Columbia River Treaty public feedback

Reservoir levels, fair compensation for impacted communities, among many issues raised

B.C. accommodators need phone lines to light up as in-province travel given green light

Travel restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic have decimated the tourism and hospitality industries

Coalmont woman airlifted after ATV crash

Off-road vehicle swerved to miss oncoming traffic

Milestone RCMP Cops For Kids fundraiser ride going virtual

You can join and help RCMP raise funds for families and possibly win 20th anniversary cycling shirt

Summerland campground to provide COVID-safe accommodations for temporary farm-workers

The managed seasonal worker campsite will be located within a separated area of Peach Orchard Municipal Campground

300 Cache Creek residents on evacuation alert due to flood risk as river rises

Heavy rainfall on Canada Day has river rising steadily, threatening 175 properties

No abandoned Seadoo found on Coldstream lake

Vernon Search and Rescue crews and RCMP unable to find reported abandoned Seadoo on Kal Lake

Kelowna high school football star, water skier, signs with University of Calgary

Isaac Athans, and his family, have a long history of success across various sports in the Okanagan, nationally

First glimpse of Canada’s true COVID-19 infection rate expected mid-July

At least 105,000 Canadians have tested positive for COVID-19 since the coronavirus was identified

Police ramp up efforts to get impaired drivers off B.C. roads this summer

July is dedicated to the Summer CounterAttack Impaired Driving Campaign

Most Read