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Public Feedback II

What do you believe are the threats to Prince Edward Island's water resources?
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I'm paying attention to the only scientific study I know of regarding the island's water. Clearly there are a few areas that need to be protected at certain times of the year, but overall PEI has an abundance of water. If we want to protect our water make allies out of the all the constituents using our water. Once group in particular seems to get singled out - farmers - and listening to some of the rhetoric it seems as if the farmers are the "enemy". They are not - every farmer I know does not want to hurt the water environment - they are more than willing to put in natural barriers to limit run off and in areas where we  have abundant water they are more than willing to have use monitored to see we live within our water resource limits. Yet farmers as a group seem to be left on the margins of discussions about managing the whole conservation and protection process - I think that's a mistake.

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Should there be mandatory monitoring of volumes of water being used by all municipal, commercial and industrial water systems?  
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Monitor it in places where water use may be an issue - but otherwise leave it alone - taxpayers don't need additional paperwork and cost where it's not necessary.

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Should heavy water users be required to pay?
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This is a terrible question, it's like some users should get penalized but not others - if we have to "pay", set a cost per liter and apply the same cost to everyone.

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How can government best reduce red tape while continuing to protect our water resources and the environment?
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Limit regulation and monitoring to areas where we know we have issues and leave the rest alone.

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Should the province manage water resources on a watershed by watershed basis? 
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NO - that will lead to an uneven standard - sames rules should apply everywhere.

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What do you believe are the threats to Prince Edward Island's water resources?
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I believe that deep water wells is the most serious threat to Prince Edward Island 's well being today. We are an island surrounded by salt water, we do not have large lakes and our rivers all run into the ocean, By sucking out the water from below is the most serious threat to future generations and sure not sustainable over the long term, their are already far too many deep water wells, and too much ground water being wasted.

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Should there be mandatory monitoring of volumes of water being used by all municipal, commercial and industrial water systems?  
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Absolutely

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Should heavy water users be required to pay?
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By all means, and big

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How can government best reduce red tape while continuing to protect our water resources and the environment?
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Cut the red tape and protect the environment, if not their will be anything to protect.

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Beyond legislation, are there other approaches or solutions that can be taken to better manage water resources? 
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Get tough with legislation before its to late

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Should the province manage water resources on a watershed by watershed basis? 
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Yes, clean water is the Islands most precious resource

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Should there be mandatory monitoring of volumes of water being used by all municipal, commercial and industrial water systems?  
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Yes, the data collected should be real time. By this I mean hourly or better. This would provide data that can be correlated with observed stream flow data.
In my view currently there is too much reliance on modelling without sufficient field data to confirm that the models are correct.


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Should heavy water users be required to pay?
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Definition of heavy users? What will the fees be used for? General Provincial revenue?
Heavy users such as Charlottetown should be required to pay. This money should be reinvested in the maintenance and upgrades of local watersheds. Charlottetown is only making a token contribution to the local watershed.

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How can government best reduce red tape while continuing to protect our water resources and the environment?
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Loaded question!
Better question is how can the Department of the Environment provide expert advice on groundwater extraction, well locations and pumping rates, while at the same time enforcing regulations that show after the fact that ground water extraction rates are to high to sustain base flow in rivers. Winter River is a prime example.

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Should the province manage water resources on a watershed by watershed basis? 
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Probably, allthough for the Charlottetown area, including Stratford  and Cornwall there has to be a regional approach.
Charlottetown is pumping in the Winter River Watershed. Water is actually drawn in from neighboring watersheds.
If the Winter River August thru November flows were to be restored to normal baseflows(flows prior to 1940), the City would need to access water from a much broader area.

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I understand you will be holding public meetings as part of a process to create a PEI waters act. I appreciate this initiative by the government to protect and preserve our water resources but I would hope you will take the necessary time to include several consultations over an extended period ( 2 years or more ) as you develop this legislation and that you take a comprehensive approach recognizing the complex and interdependent systems that are connected to water.

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 What do you believe are the threats to Prince Edward Island's water resources?
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the lifting of the moratorium on deep well irrigation for agriculture. I am very concerned when growers are waiting for "the science" to support the lifting of the moratorium. Water is too essential for the survival of every living thing on earth and the earth itself, to be tampered with by the digging of further deep wells. I'm very worried also about the high nitrate levels in PEI wells. My daughter moved from the country due to nitrates in her water and being surrounded on three sides by potato fields, where she witnessed spraying when wind levels were much too high. She could not let her children out to play nor hang washing out as big boom sprayers would swing into the fields beside her and be gone within ten minutes. She had to depend upon her nose to know when they sprayed if she happened not to notice them. Big agriculture no doubt has connections within government, this being PEI, but the greater good for both now and the future means careful stewardship of this basic live-sustaining necessity. We are in a desperate situation and yes, I do believe the pesticide/fungicide/insecticide spraying is directly connected to the high rates of cancer here. People will always argue otherwise, but the evidence is too strong to ignore.
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Should there be mandatory monitoring of volumes of water being used by all municipal, commercial and Industrial water systems?  
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Most definitely. And also, the data should be freely available to the public without all the freedom of information roadblocks normally set up.
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Should heavy water users be required to pay?
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Yes, but as well, all other users should also pay, including homeowners. All of us should have a conservation mindset and nothing will put people into a conservation mindset as quickly as having to pay for the water they use!
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How can government best reduce red tape while continuing to protect our water resources and the environment?
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Not sure what is the best way to go on that.
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Should the province manage water resources on a watershed by watershed basis? 
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I think watersheds and the wonderful volunteers that are involved provide a good watchdog service for the protection of the watersheds. Managing on a watershed by watershed basis should work provided that  watershed committees are actually listened to.

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What do you believe are the threats to Prince Edward Island's water resources?

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Overuse - housing and industrial development must not exceed the ability of water systems to support them
Contamination of streams and groundwater caused by farm practices, industry, spills
Climate change - intrusion of salt water; tidal surges or sea-level rise can overwhelm water treatment systems or contaminate ground water
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Should there be mandatory monitoring of volumes of water being used by all municipal, commercial and Industrial water systems?  
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Yes. We treat water as a free and infinite resource, but it is vulnerable. And if there is a need to recover or restore natural water systems, Islanders will pay with their health and governments will pay with taxpayer money. Monitoring and timely intervention to prevent issues will be less costly.
And we should broaden our definition of "use": it certainly includes uptake i.e. drawing water for home or commercial or industrial use. But it also includes water systems used as a waste sink - effluent, surface run-off etc. The waterways where waste ends up are also being "used".
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Should heavy water users be required to pay?
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Absolutely. And see above for a broader definition of "use".
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How can government best reduce red tape while continuing to protect our water resources and the environment?
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I don't know enough about the inner workings of the Province to be able to recommend increased bureaucratic efficiency.
I would even suggest that the government has been doing very little to study, monitor, and intervene with respect to protecting water quality. Effectively protecting water resources and the environment may require MORE red tape.
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Beyond legislation, are there other approaches or solutions that can be taken to better manage water resources? 
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Science - more study is needed to understand PEI's unique water system(s). Then this knowledge should be shared with Islanders to enable them to make informed decisions about their water use in their lives.
Partnership and innovation - invest in research and technology to reduce municipal, commercial and industrial impacts on water
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Should the province manage water resources on a watershed by watershed basis? 
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I don't know. It is my understanding that local watershed associations have had varying degrees of success in establishing the partnerships and securing the stable funding and staff to enable them to take a strong role in managing water resources. PEI is a small place; we don't need decentralized governance but rather visionary leadership that works with local communities willing to pilot a new approach or implement new systems. The experiences of these local communities would be evaluated to determine viability for province-wide implementation.

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What do you believe are the threats to Prince Edward Island's water resources?
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The major problem as I see it is the amount of production that is being allowed on this small island. Production that is using dangerous pesticides and chemicals such as potatoes and blueberries. These crops require ( not really ) large amounts of pesticide only for the benefit of more growth which means more money. These dozens of tankers, are dumping to much on this small island and as a result we the people are dying at a faster rate than anywhere in Canada. Government officials seem to be in love with the money as well and eventually should be facing jail time for the death that they are causing. I'm one of the dying so yes .... I'm bitter and pissed off at these politicians that are not concerned about the sickness.
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Should there be mandatory monitoring of volumes of water being used by all municipal, commercial and Industrial water systems?  
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For sure ....mandatory monitoring must be enforced.
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Should heavy water users be required to pay?
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Depends on the limits... If it is a healthy operation, such as an organic farm, then there should be no limits providing it is being used to grow healthy food.    Farmers who are using water to grow dangerous crops should pay the top price.
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How can government best reduce red tape while continuing to protect our water resources and the environment?
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Its pretty simple....Govt makes the laws, we have many people looking for work, so put them out in the fields to monitor these farmers. Close them down if they are not complying. We need people on the land not in the office.
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Beyond legislation, are there other approaches or solutions that can be taken to better manage water resources? 
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Start enforcing the laws that are already there ....like crop rotation.  Or run off as a result of farming to close to the streams.
Deep well drilling for water must be banned for all time. Reverse the ones that are there now !
Fracking is something that should not be considered.
Keep up the good work on managing sewer installments.  Crack down on cottages which are not up to code.
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Should the province manage water resources on a watershed by watershed basis? 
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Yes it should be managed from every angle possible.

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Should there be mandatory monitoring of volumes of water being used by all municipal, commercial and Industrial water systems?
  
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Yes. All industries should report water usage
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Beyond legislation, are there other approaches or solutions that can be taken to better manage water resources? 
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irrigation scheduling is an excellent way to manage water resources

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What do you believe are the threats to Prince Edward Island's water resources?
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- agricultural pesticide run-off
- municipalities
- cosmetic pesticides
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Should there be mandatory monitoring of volumes of water being used by all municipal, commercial and Industrial water systems?  
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yes and the data should be made public via Open Data principles: web accessible, machine-readable (not PDF), and freely licensed
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Should heavy water users be required to pay?
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yes
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Beyond legislation, are there other approaches or solutions that can be taken to better manage water resources? 
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- encourage residents to install water meters and volunteer their usage to a common data set
- if we measure and report (voluntarily), we will conserve

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What do you believe are the threats to Prince Edward Island's water resources?
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I believe high capacity deep water wells could threaten the amount of water supply in PEI.  Consequently, the moratorium on deep water wells for the province should be continued for the future of our precious water supply.
Our government has the responsibility to protect our water supply which comes from ground water.  Consequently, the government should enact legislation to prevent any fracking on PEI. Fracking a well can require millions of litres of fracking fluid which is made of grit and chemicals pumped under pressure to free gas.  These toxic chemicals could leak into our water supply over time as well as use up our valuable water supply in the pumping. Don't wait until someone applies to frack PEI, be pro-active and responsible.  Enact the legislation to protect our ground water supply!
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Should there be mandatory monitoring of volumes of water being used by all municipal, commercial and Industrial water systems?  
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Yes.  I would assume water meters are used for commercial and industrial water systems. 
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Should heavy water users be required to pay?
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Of course, heavy water users should be required to pay.  In particular, cruise ships should continue to pay for PEI water as long as we can afford to supply the ships at no risk of water shortage for the City of Charlottetown.
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How can government best reduce red tape while continuing to protect our water resources and the environment?
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Government should have regulations and red tape to protect our water resources and the environment.  This legislation should also be enforceable.
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Beyond legislation, are there other approaches or solutions that can be taken to better manage water resources? 
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Yes, suggestions have been made by the PEI Watershed Alliance to help manage our water resources.  Some of these could be setting targets and asking farmers to "keep the soil on the land."  There could be buffer zones which are flexible depending on the location of the waterway.  Realistically, you don't have to have the same buffer zones all the way around the farm as that loss of soil to cultivate is very expensive for the farmer and we want to support Island agriculture. Watersheds could work with farmers.
Another suggestion would be to offer incentives such as tax incentives to create forests in water shed areas.
I cannot understand loads of wood logs going by truck to Nova Scotia on the ferry. Our forests need to be protected to provide good watershed.  Government needs to employ appropriate forest management and educate and assist woodlot owners.
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Should the province manage water resources on a watershed by watershed basis? 
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The watershed groups are the volunteers who are protecting and improving our watersheds on a volunteer basis.  They are the grassroots organizations who are the stewards of our land, waterways, and ground water.  For instance, most people don't realize that the type, age, diversity of forest cover matters to the watershed.  If you transfer responsibility for the management of water resources to the watershed organizations, you have to be prepared to also transfer some rights.  I believe the province should continue to regulate our water supply, but work hand in hand with the watershed groups

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PEI needs to rethink the Potato Economy and diversify - go green and grow organic produce. This would certainly affect (reduce) the abundant use of pesticides connected to the unprecedented rare cancer occurrence, along with the fertilizer fish kills in PEI.

I consider our island one community.

Relying on one commodity (potatoes) as witnesses time and time again results in dire consequences for communities.

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Dear Ministers,
 
Requests for accurate water use statistics used by current "Industrial Deep Water Well" holders from both of your departments could not be fulfilled because they are not collected and correlated extensively and accurately by your staffs, not only this year but in years previously.
 
Although permit holders are supposed to keep accurate and daily logs of the volume of their pumping and water use, this information has not been effectively collected or analyzed by your departments over the years following the issuance of deep well permits that are now "grandfathered" in as current despite the absence of a water use policy on PEI.
 
This oversight must be corrected immediately by your departments if there is to be a scientific and informed investigation of increased or even current use of this Island's groundwater by those who already pump unknown quantities of this critical resource in their hatcheries, fish plants, food processing facilities, irrigated fields and other operations. I remember when wells in Georgetown went dry years ago when volumes of water flowed through the fish plant into the Three Rivers. Other instances of dry wells have occurred in different watersheds these years past and yet accurate reporting of water use by large industrial permit holders continue to elude your enforcement officers.
 
Water use permits must include accurate monitoring by the operators of deep wells already in operation. Diesel and electric powered pumps have known "gallon per hour" rates which can supplement those statistics provided by water flow gauges to provide a complete assessment of all water pumped from deep wells in industrial and farming operations. These monitoring results can then be collected by your department staffs for your and the public's consideration and deliberations to come in establishing a Water Protection Act for this province.
 
Please ensure that the volumes of water use by the current permit holders can be accurately assessed before any other permits in any watershed area on PEI are issued.
 
Thank you for your attention in improving the recording of this neglected information.

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What do you believe are the threats to Prince Edward Island's water resources?
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1) deep water wells
2) chemicals used on the land that run off and contaminate our waterways
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Should there be mandatory monitoring of volumes of water being used by all municipal, commercial and Industrial water systems?  
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Yes
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Should heavy water users be required to pay?
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Yes

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