07/14/2015 01:20 EDT | Updated 07/13/2016 05:59 EDT

B.C. water bottling companies' pricing will be re-examined, says Premier Christy Clark

Drenched in controversy, the province has bowed to public pressure and will ​reconsider how much companies, such as Nestlé, are charged to access B.C. water.

More than 218,000 people have signed an online petition saying the province should charge a fair price for groundwater. Currently bottlers do not pay anything to access the province's water, but regulations set to start next year would see a charge of $2.25 per one million litres. 

Premier Christy Clark is now considering reopening the Water Act and looking again at pricing for the big water bottlers.

"What we have heard is people say they don`t think it is appropriate. They think we should be at the top end charging for some of that water that the big bottlers are extracting," she says. 

NDP critic Spencer Chandra Herbert says the current situation is shameful.

"We are not getting the value we need for our water to properly protect," says Herbert. "You need to properly protect it so you can put money back in environmental conservation, water conservation."

The province says the charge is an access fee and they are not selling water as resource.