Keep moratorium on deep-water wells for now: committee recommends

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Paula Biggar. File Photo

The moratorium on deep-water wells should remain in place while further investigation and public hearings continue, the standing committee on environment has recommended.

The standing committee on agriculture, environment, energy and forestry delivered its report to the legislature this morning.

Committee chair Paula Biggar said the moratorium should remain in place for now, but the issue of high-capacity wells should continue to be probed.

This has proven to be a complex issue and your committee does not wish to make recommendations prematurely,Biggar said.

Witnesses to date have made compelling arguments both for and against the lifting of the moratorium and your committee continues to consider these very carefully. The interest of so many individuals and groups and the capacity attendance at committee attendance to date speak to how important this issue, and water in general, is to Islanders.

"Your committees work is not done on this issue.

The last two months have seen jam-packed meetings with dozens of citizens and environment groups raising serious concern over the impact of allowing new deep-water wells for agricultural irrigation.

But potato farmers have also made presentations, saying they need access to supplemental irrigation in order to remain competitive.

The environmental groups have called for an independent review of the data compiled by the Department of Environment showing the Island uses only a small percentage of available water.

They also called for legislation to be enacted that would regulate and protect groundwater in P.E.I.

The environment committee today strongly recommended government develop a water act.

Organizations: Department of Environment

Geographic location: P.E.I.

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