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Groundwater and Surface Water Protection

Homeowners, landowners, municipalities, farmers, foresters and community organizations can all help to protect water resources of Prince Edward Island.

Forest (Woodlot) Owners

Forests are a critical component of the riparian zone ecosystem (the interface between land and a river or stream). Trees shade the water and stabilize the soil.  They provide food, shelter, and cover for many different species of mammals, birds, and amphibians.  Forested riparian zones also support a wide range of plants and fungi that are critical to the health and diversity of the ecosystem.

Water conservation information for forest (woodlot) owners to help protect
water resources.


Farmers can do many things to protect PEI's water resources.  They can:

  • reduce the use of pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers on crops 
  • plant cover crops or mulching exposed soil over winter 
  • adopt soil conservation practices 
  • take care to prevent fuel, pesticide, or other chemical spills 
  • check equipment regularly for fluid leaks 
  • apply nutrients only when appropriate (never in the rain or on frozen soil)

See Growing Forward 2 for more detail.

Community Groups

Water quality issues are best addressed from a watershed perspective. The Watershed Management Fund provides a potential source of funding for organizations involved in watershed planning and management.


As a homeowner, here are some practical tips to help protect groundwater and surface water: 

  • practice water conservation;
  • properly dispose of household hazardous waste;
  • check your oil storage tank regularly for leaks;
  • use gravel or other porous material for your driveway;
  • reduce or eliminate the use of environmentally harmful cleaning products;
  • collect and bury pet waste;
  • reduce or eliminate the use of cosmetic pesticides;
  • use compost in the garden instead of chemical fertilizers;
  • plant native trees and shrubs;
  • use your vehicle less frequently and avoid idling;
  • check your vehicle regularly for fluid leaks;
  • recycle used motor oil, antifreeze, etc;
  • make sure that your septic system is maintained and working properly;
  • don’t pour hazardous chemicals down your household drains; and
  • lobby your community for nutrient removal in the sewage treatment system.
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