Water quantity and quality issues are of growing concern due to increasing population, the effects of climate change, and competing interests in water supplies. The packaged water fad has taken the world by storm. In addition to the environmental impacts of single-use plastic water bottles, contamination and even depletion of groundwater in local communities are possible scenarios from the effects of water bottling and packaging facilities.
Nestlé Waters Canada (Nestlé), is currently evaluating the purchase of the Middlebrook Water Co. spring water source. Located within one of the largest subwatersheds in the Grand River watershed, the Middlebrook well neighbours drinking water supplies for the communities of Fergus and Elora in Centre Wellington. The Middlebrook well is also adjacent to the Elora Gorge Conservation Area where the Grand River flows through the bottom of the gorge, and is home to some of the best brown trout fishing in North America.
The Grand River flow is augmented in by the Shand Dam in Bellwood, just upstream from Elora and Fergus, as water levels become quite low in the very dry summer months. This area often experiences summer drought, placing stress on the local ecosystem.