The Town of Comox has approved a bylaw that prohibits the bottling of water.

A public hearing was held this evening to hear feedback from residents.

The bylaw would determine whether or not residents will be able to bottle water that doesn’t come from the municipal water system.

Bruce Gibbons lives in Merville and says the protection of water in the Comox Valley is important and it’s not right to let people bottle and sell it for profit.

“Our Comox water is under pressure and under threat from growing demand, population growth, and the ever-worsening effect of climate change. In the face of these threats to our water resources, it’s prudent to take a precautionary approach to protect and conserve our resources,” said Gibbons.

“It does not make sense to allow a few individuals or cooperations to profit by excessive extraction of water for bottling and commercial sale or export. It does, however, make sense to protect our water by not allowing it to be bottled and sold for profit,” Gibbons added.

Another concerned resident was Mark de Bruijn.

He said water is something you just can’t monetize.

“My own well for the first time in 46 years went dry two years ago in the middle of one of our droughts. I know first hand that there is a limit to how much water we have accessible to us.”

“Water is one of the basic needs of humanity. You can’t live here without it, so playing with it is insanity.”

The one speaker who opposed the bylaw was Scott Mackenzie. He’s looking to extract, bottle and sell water.

He says there is more than enough to go around.

“There is no water shortage, it’s a giant holding pond that fluctuates one meter per year between dry and wet. It’s a natural resource that everybody can tap into,” said Mackenzie.

“All you’re doing is killing one guy from opening one small mom and pop local water delivery.”

After the public hearing, council gave Bylaw 1927 a third and final reading.

It was unanimously approved.