The $12 Cauliflower


It's coming to a store near you, sooner than you think. And it won't be just cauliflower, you can expect to pay significantly more for everything you eat.

Before you start thinking this is due to increased transportation costs or electricity, think again. This is because farmers in many areas (and soon to be more) are being charged for water.

Now that might seem fair if they were using public infrastructure through city water, but that is not the case. Farmers in BC are being told they must register their wells that they likely paid many thousands of dollars for and often give info on how much water the wells produce at a cost of $200 and then the government is charging them for water use.

So, many people will think this is because farmers are depleting a shared aquifer. Again, this is not necessarily the case. My well, for instance, is what is known as a "rock well" so it basically captures rainwater that filters through the ground. Not only did it cost me approximately $30,000 for the well, pump, pressure tank and electrical work, there is arsenic at 200 feet (my well is over 330 feet deep) which required me to install, and further maintain, a water filtration system. So many farmers likely already pay far more then people on city water. To add further insult to injury, many cities do not even charge residents for water use. 

Many people will cite the Water Sustainability Act as protecting our water from being abused by corporations since residential wells are currently not being required to register their wells. Most farmers live on the land they are farming so it begs the question why they would have to pay for their water while those on adjacent properties living in big executive homes (sometimes with horses) and driving their luxury cars to work every day, do not.

What about collecting rainwater? Well guess what, they are making that illegal in many areas too. 

Still think this does not effect you? Sometime in the not too distant future when you go to the farmers market so you can buy fresh local produce, or dine at one of the trendy restaurants serving up locally sourced, sustainable food, you may get a bit of sticker shock. Soon good quality food will only be available to the rich. 

It is the price we are paying for the partnership between government and big business.