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March 14, 2011
For immediate release

Canada Water Week encourages collaboration to preserve water resources

Environment, Energy & Forestry

Islanders working together to protect and conserve water is the best way to preserve it for future generations, says Premier Robert Ghiz.

“Our drinking water is our most precious resource and we all share the responsibility to preserve the high quality of our water for future generations,” Premier Ghiz said. “During Canada Water Week, we want Islanders to become more familiar with the issues we face with our drinking water and consider what can be done to protect it in the future.”

Canada Water Week, which runs from March 14 to 22, is aimed at increasing awareness of water issues and initiatives in Canada. Canadian premiers initiated the week during their 2010 Council of the Federation annual meeting. Under the Council of the Federation banner of “Celebrating and Conserving Water across Our Country,” provinces and territories are drawing attention to water’s importance to Canada’s prosperity.

“Prince Edward Island is the only jurisdiction in Canada that gets all of its drinking water from groundwater, so we have to make sure we take the necessary steps to ensure its preservation,” says Environment, Energy and Forestry Minister, Richard Brown. “Healthy water resources are also essential to the well-being of our wildlife and our economy,” Mr. Brown said.

PEI has an abundant quantity of water and for the forestry, fisheries, agriculture and tourism sectors to be successful they depend on healthy water resources. In an effort to protect and preserve the quality of the province’s water, including drinking water, government has:

• Dramatically increased funding for community-based watershed groups, improving the capacity of the groups to work on environmentally sustainable projects.

• Provided $46 million of upgrades to water and wastewater facilities across the province.

• Enhanced buffer zone laws to protect streams, wetlands and coastal waters.

• Introduced the Alternative Land Use Services program, which retires sensitive agricultural land to reduce its impact on water resources.

• Launched online water data search web pages for Islanders to see results of drinking water and stream water samples and the levels of groundwater and streams across PEI.

• Provided PST rebate on low flow fixtures.

“Everyone can do something to help preserve the quality of our water and I am confident that Islanders can make this happen,” Mr. Ghiz said.

Media Contact: Alf Blanchard
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