Water Act Public Consultation Comments

As part of the development of a Water Act for PEI, Islanders are invited to provide comments regarding the development of the draft Act. All on-line comments that are received before the closing date will be posted on this page. The names of people making these on-line submissions will not be disclosed. The online consultation for the development of the Water Act runs until April 18, 2017.  To submit comments, start at the main Water Act web page.

Audio recordings of the public consultations sessions, as well as any presentations from the sessions that were provided to the Department, will also be posted on this page. 

If you believe an error has been made with one of the postings, please contact avsturz@gov.pe.ca


May 2, 2017

Submission #1
I am writing to request that High Volume Hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") be banned within the body of the bill titled "The Water Act" and not be left to a moratorium on fracking contained within the Regulations under the Act as these regulations can be amended relatively easily. My concern in this area is that the Government of the day could, upon lobbying by the various industries interested in fracking, be persuaded to lift the moratorium. As a Province that relies solely on groundwater for our drinking water we cannot undertake fracking without completion of detailed research into the effects of fracking on our source of drinking water. Fracking is a relatively recent technology and therefore we don't have historical data which might give us some comfort as to the effects of fracking. All reporting from the site of fracking industries seems to indicate that there are numerous side effects to this technology and therefore research is crucial before any decision is made to allow fracking.

April 19, 2017
Submission #1
Water Act Public Consultation Submission (provided in pdf)

Submission #2
This submission is on behalf of Blue Dot PEI, a partner of Blue Dot, a David Suzuki Foundation movement to recognize every Canadian's right to live in a healthy environment.

We echo the concerns raised by many groups, organizations and individuals that this process should not be rushed at this point. It is crucial to the integrity of these consultations that sufficient time is allowed to get this right.

We strongly urge government to recognize the right to water for all Islanders in this Act.
We ask that you revisit the submissions (both public & written) made by Blue Dot PEI during the consultations.
We ask that you review this document in your considerations THE RIGHT TO WATER:A BRIEFING NOTE by Dr. David R. Boyd Adjunct Professor, Resource and Environmental Management,Simon Fraser University

"Many experts agree that legal recognition of the human right to water is a significant step towards increased access to safe drinking water."

"The benefits of recognizing that water is a legally protected human right include:
- stronger water laws, regulations, and policies;
- prioritizing resources for investment in water infrastructure, governance, and management;
- empowering citizens and communities to take part in decisionmaking processes related to water;
- providing a potential remedy for those whose right is being or may be violated;
- protecting water from pollution and other adverse impacts; - preventing discrimination or neglect of under-privileged or marginalized communities; and
- providing a means of holding governments and corporations accountable."

"The right to water is not a silver bullet that will automatically address the world’s water crisis.However it is a powerful tool that can be used to focus attention and resources on improving access to water for those individuals and communities who currently endure the hardships imposed by the absence of safe water."

Québec spent 2 year of extensive deliberation and consultation in developing it's Water policy, a lot can be gleaned and adopted from this to strengthen PEI's Water Act. 

Recognition of Water as a Collective Heritage of All Quebecers 

"The Québec government first wishes to reaffirm, through this Policy, its determination to recognize this resource as a valuable asset of Québec society and an integral part of its collective heritage. Water, both surface and groundwater, is recognized in the Civil Code of Québec as something whose use is common to all, subject to rights of use or limited appropriation rights, that may be recognized. This “common to all” status implies that all members of society have the right to access water and use it in a manner consistent with its nature, and that the government has a responsibility to regulate water use, establish priority uses and preserve its quality and quantity, while taking the public interest into account. Therefore, the government intends to create the necessary instruments so that they may give precedence, in the event of conflict, to the fundamental right of individuals to access this resource for their basic needs."

C-6.2 - Act to affirm the collective nature of water resources and provide for increased water resource protection
THE PARLIAMENT OF QUÉBEC ENACTS AS FOLLOWS:

DIVISION I
WATER, A COLLECTIVE RESOURCE
1. BEING OF VITAL INTEREST, BOTH SURFACE WATER AND GROUNDWATER, IN THEIR NATURAL STATE, ARE RESOURCES THAT ARE PART OF THE COMMON HERITAGE OF THE QUÉBEC NATION.

As set out in article 913 of the Civil Code, their use is common to all and they may not be appropriated except under the conditions defined by that article. 2009, c. 21, s. 1.

2. Under the conditions and within the limits defined by the law, it is the right of every natural person to have access to water that is safe for drinking, cooking and personal hygiene. 2009, c. 21, s. 2.

3. The protection, restoration, improvement and management of water resources are of general interest and further sustainable development.

PEI's Water Act would be well served to include Principles of transparency and participation also found in this legislation.

7. Under the conditions and within the limits defined by law, every person has a right of access to any information on water resources that is held by public authorities and a right to participate in public decision-making that affects those resources. 

An analysis done by ECELAW, on Environmental Rights in the Maritimes, showed PEI legislation to be lacking or non existent. Access to Information, Public Participation in Environmental/Water Governance and Decision-Making, and Access to Justice are considered pillars of environmental protection. Although, we recognize that there is some language in the draft pertaining to this we feel it could be strengthened and Access to Justice . -the right to review procedures to challenge public decisions that have been made without respecting the rights to Access to Information and Public Participation in Decision Making or environmental law
in general, included in this Act.An example of how we could improve and strengthen the language is also found in C-6.2 - Act to affirm the collective nature of water resources and provide for increased water resource protection "The municipalities and Native communities and every department, body, educational or research institution or group whose mission, functions or activities relate in whole or in part to the water sector may, by invitation or at their request, be associated with the development of the information system."

A common theme of many of the submissions received is the real concern over fracking, a vast majority of Islanders agree fracking would be incredibly reckless with one water table. We also ask you to consider the science which supports the view of many that fracking could mean suicide for PEI and ban it through this legislation. 

I apologize for the 2 hour tardiness of this submission but ask that this be excused for many reasons.

Thank you in advance for your careful consideration of this submission and the many meaningful submissions made by those who want to ensure adequate protection for Island waters.
Sincerely,
​Blue Dot PEI volunteer

Submission #3
I just had my first child and will be relocating to somewhere in rural PEI in the next years. I currently own a house downtown. Our primary purchasing criteria is water quality, and given what information I can find on nitrate levels, large areas of PEI are no longer an option.

I have a few suggestions:
1. The precautionary principle should be included, especially to guide the grounds for refusing risky activities. We should strive to meet rigorous water quality targets (perhaps according to the biodiversity of the watershed?), and anyone that wants to create barriers to meeting those
targets should bare the burden of proving their actions will be safe. No applicant should be able to argue that the government has a burden to prove the applicant's desired activity will cause harm.

2. My personal belief if that the Mi'kmaq that acted as stewards of the life on Prince Edward Island until the arrival of my ancestors should receive special recognition in the Water Act. If you read descriptions of PEI when Europeans first arrived it is clear that the last 500 years have
been what could be accurately called severe destruction. That's not a scientific term, but I do wonder where all the walrus went. If you can include a historical perspective that acknowledges what the representatives of crown found, compared the current situation, that would be helpful.

3. I reject the language of "resource" and reject that human-centric focus of the legislation. The water in this province is, literally, the life of the province. My actual body is made of, largely, the rain that fell on this province. I actually am being scientific now. Water isn't so much a resource,
as it is life. Also, the water in this province isn't for just the human life, it is for all life; the otherthan- human life of the province should be honoured in our legislation too.

Kind regards, and best wishes with your drafting.

Submission #4
Water is Everyone's ...
Water Pollution should be met with a stiff Penalty, bordering excessive ... 
Water on PEI should NEVER be sold to any company, organization, corporation or entity ...

Submission #5
Too many people are dying of cancer west prince is very bad pesticides and nitrate are the cause

Submission #6
Fracking Must be Banned for PEI on shore and off. What will we drink when our water is contaminated with chemicals? Our Island sits on very delicate sandstone and this will affect us all. These companies blow chemicals into the ground to extract this and do not even tell us what the chemicals are. What gives them the rights over my drinking water and my grandchildren's drinking water? Do the right thing and put people's lives and health of the earth over corporate greed. Please. Thank you for listening.


April 18, 2017

Submission #1
Water Act Public Consultation Submission (provided in pdf)

Submission #2
Water Act Public Consultation Submission (provided in pdf)

Submission #3
Water Act Public Consultation Submission (provided in pdf)

Submission #4
Water Act Public Consultation Submission (provided in pdf)

Submission #5
Water Act Public Consultation Submission (provided in pdf)

Submission #6
Water act Public Consultation Submission (provided in pdf)

Submission #7
The following is a written summary of some of our points from that last public consultation (the last question of the evening in Pooles Corner on Wednesday, April 12th, 2017. Regarding the process up to this point:

We appreciate how the public has had time and the chance to consider the materials and present comments and questions. Up to now. We know the timing was not as was wished, due to other public initiatives such as the school review consultations, and that affected the release of this draft without affecting the legislative session intended to table the legislation. This is rushed, especially as the draft is intense and needs much more energy to digest and analyze.

So our question is:
Given this very brief window available and the intent to get the Water Act through third reading in the Legislature, could you describe the steps that will be taken, and the timeframe, for all the pertinent suggestions you have received from groups and individuals, to presumably go to the department’s legislative counsel, to incorporate the changes into the draft, and to get this to the legislative floor. Please keep in mind all our suggestions, from most of the environmentally minded groups, are made to make the Act stronger and better.

Also, if amendments are made on the legislative floor, how will they be incorporated before third reading?

There is still the opportunity to hold back this bill until the Fall sitting. (You did explain – not to my satisfaction, but to my understanding, your reasoning for the timing – at the meeting in Pooles Corner.)

Our second comment was a list of “wrap-up recommendations” that we have heard time and
again, and truly hope you will incorporate into the Act.
1) Confirm that the ecosystem needing water, too
2) Add wording that confirms you are protecting the quantity and want to improve the quality (e.g., nitrates to be reduced)
3) Mention climate change/droughts/floods and working with other departments together on these.
4) A Water Governance Board – there are such amazing people in the province who could help and should be helping with water
5) Make the data available, but make it findable. If my mom and your mom can’t find it, the information is buried and not presented logically and with the ability to be reasonably found.
6) The biggie, and especially in light of the just-released study in Nature Geosciences (cited below), that methane from fracking can into water and  pollutes far more than we ever anticipated, is to **Ban Fracking in this Water Act.**

Thank you for your time and engagement with the Island community.
Sincerely,
Chairperson, Citizens’ Alliance of P.E.I.

http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v10/n4/full/ngeo2919.html
Mobility and persistence of methane in groundwater in a controlled-release field experiment
Aaron G. Cahill, et.al/
Nature Geoscience,10, 289–294 (2017)
Published online 27 March 2017

Abstract:
Expansion of shale gas extraction has fuelled global concern about the potential impact of fugitive methane on groundwater and climate. Although methane leakage from wells is well documented, the consequences on groundwater remain sparsely studied and are thought by some to be minor. Here we present the results of a 72-day methane gas injection experiment into a shallow, flat-lying sand aquifer. In our experiment, although a significant fraction of methane vented to the atmosphere, an equal portion remained in the groundwater. We find that methane migration in the aquifer was governed by subtle grain-scale bedding that impeded buoyant free-phase gas flow and led to episodic releases of free-phase gas. The result was lateral migration of gas beyond that expected by groundwater advection alone. Methane persisted in the groundwater zone despite active growth of methanotrophic bacteria, although much of the methane that vented into the vadose zone was oxidized. Our findings demonstrate that even small-volume releases of methane gas can cause extensive and persistent free phase and solute plumes emanating from leaks that are detectable only by contaminant hydrogeology monitoring at high resolution.

For rest of article, please see on-line through link.

Submission #8
I think the use of water for fracking purposes should be banned in the Water Act. There is no difference between that and putting a ban on bottled water for export. I am also concerned about the holding ponds. At an earlier meeting with several farm groups, Jim Young stated in response to a question on holding ponds that there would be one well per pond allowed. At the Charlottetown meeting we were told that one well per property (PID) would be allowed, Quite a difference and why the change? I hope the regulations will stipulate that one well per holding pond is all that is allowed; otherwise we could have many low capacity wells feeding into the pond as most farms have several identification numbers. Several low capacity wells could very well extract more water than one high capacity well. If only one well per pond is allowed, it would be easily monitored and this would close a huge loophole in the Act and regulations.

Submission #9
I just had my first child and will be relocating to somewhere in rural PEI in the next years. I currently own a house downtown. Our primary purchasing criteria is water quality, and given what information I can find on nitrate levels, large areas of PEI are no longer an option.

I have a few suggestions:

1. The precautionary principle should be included, especially to guide the grounds for refusing risky activities. We should strive to meet rigorous water quality targets (perhaps according to the biodiversity of the watershed?), and anyone that wants to create barriers to meeting those targets should bare the burden of proving their actions will be safe. No applicant should be able to argue that the government has a burden to prove the applicant's desired activity will cause harm.

2. My personal belief if that the Mi'kmaq that acted as stewards of the life on Prince Edward Island until the arrival of my ancestors should receive special recognition in the Water Act. If you read descriptions of PEI when Europeans first arrived it is clear that the last 500 years havebeen what could be accurately called severe destruction. That's not a scientific term, but I do wonder where all the walrus went. If you can include a historical perspective that acknowledges what the representatives of crown found, compared the current situation, that would be helpful.

3. I reject the language of "resource" and reject that human-centric focus of the legislation. The water in this province is, literally, the life of the province. My actual body is made of, largely, the rain that fell on this province. I actually am being scientific now. Water isn't so much a resource, as it is life. Also, the water in this province isn't for just the human life, it is for all life; the otherthan- human life of the province should be honoured in our legislation too.

Kind regards, and best wishes with your drafting.

Submission #10
With out proper (25-50m min) buffer zones installed around our water ways, gov. is signalling they are ignoring our health, our drinking water, and our fishery. I'm sick to my stomach thinking about it. Do you think people will give their land willingly??? Not likely. This is where gov must step in to make the tuff choices. Too bad all you're worried about is reelection. [Expletive deleted] you if you don't do something about this.

Our precious aquifers will one day dry up if this same careless approach is taken to deep water wells. Death and poison for islanders because gov wants to appease business. Please, have some decency. If people want to drink the best water in world (for now) let them come and drink, no need to export our most precious resource. (Bottled water)

so many places in the world have already made the irreversible mistake of categorizing fresh water as a resource and not a right... for the mighty dollar... WAKE UP! WAKE UP! Make your choice.. a healthy future, or an empty bank account and imported water. (Money doesn't last)

Additional anadote.
People in Canada have heard of our pesticide polluted waters and are deciding not to visit. If I have heard one story personally, how many more are circulating. If industry trumps human rights we all lose.

If you are reading this, stand up for islanders, stand up for what's right. Our future depends on you.

Submission #11
Remember the shock and horror you expressed the evening we viewed the film at my home on Fracking with our neighbours. At that time you expressed the need to prevent fracking here on PEI. What has changed? Fracking will ruin our ground water and it needs to be in the act and not in the regulations where it can be tinkered with and with pressure look away and change it bit by bit.

Please recall that our water is truly at risk if fracking is not in the act. Without that we have little to believe that this is truly an act to protect our water.

Sincerely
Sherwood

Submission #12
The Water Act must address fracking - ie banning it altogether, and 2 it must address high volume wells for agriculture and other uses. The 2 most important points about our water, and they are completely ' forgotten'. How can they not be part of a Water Act ?

You can do much better that this draft, and use much clearer and stronger language.

Submission #13
Without clean water we are doomed. Stronger policy is required to prevent contamination of PEI's water.

This means VERY strong control about what enters our waterways. This means NO sewage entering any waterway, strict control on pesticide runoff (this could go as far as supporting the transition to organic agriculture), strict control on toxic chemical effluent from any source, strong policy to reduce nitrate contamination. We cannot risk the ground water contamination from fracking. We cannot risk the effects of overuse of our water by deep wells or by bottling corporations. We as humans waste a LOT of water. Public education is needed to create a greater sensitivity to the consequences of overuse, such as in Charlottetown relative to the Winter River supply. Access to clean water is clearly a human right, but beyond a certain amount for basic needs, there should be a charge on excess water consumption.

Submission #14
Water Act Public Consultation Submission (provided in pdf)

Submission #15

While we respect a Minister’s authority, the consultation period is much too short for something that has generated so much interest. Small volunteer organizations such as the Hillsborough River Association only meet periodically and addressing anything is a short time frame creates real difficulties. Hence our concern. You will note the time stamp - we're down to the wire.

Since the intent is to introduce a version of the Water Act in this sitting, we ask that public comment be solicited respecting the content of regulations as soon as the Water Act passes so that there is public engagement in the drafting process. 

The following amendments need to be addressed.

Make high quality water a human and animal right.

The Act should must prohibit hydraulic fracturing (fracking) outright. It should not be the content of regulatory authority. A change of this magnitude requires the authority of law not regulation!

Ministerial authorities are conveyed in Sections 4, 7, + others as now expressed. These must be qualified by stating that this authority must conform to the goals and intent of the Act. This clarifies the scope of ministerial authority and prevents ministers down the road to push the boundaries and threaten water as an essential resource.

In section 2, the purpose should be to protect water quality to meet the needs of both people and wildlife. Section 2(b) needs to be qualified to address failure of communities to live within their water resources limits (e.g. unlimited increases in population density to acquire taxes to run a community without heed of biological constraints, permitting exorbitant water use when there is a shortage, etc.) 

Under the various divisions identified, consultations and notifications must be obligatory.

The Act should explicitly raise water conservation programs and make them obligatory so that use is constrained when it is at the expense of wildlife.

High capacity wells for any use should be considered a measure of last resort. Their use should be constrained by: for wells for irrigation purposes, have obligatory environmental impact assessments, users must first capture surface water in catchment ponds before any consideration is given to high capacity wells; a water conservation plan must be required that implements infiltration catchment at a farm/property level (i.e. address this holistically as farmers in particular are converting more woodland and hedgerows to farm fields and thus reducing infiltration rates); land cover should become a component of the use permit with compulsory inclusion of cover and monitoring of cover become a reportable requirement in the permit); a prerequisite should be nutrient management and its monitoring; all such wells must be equipped with continuous monitoring meters that capture and disseminate the daily discharge rate to the public using an online system (government should have software to detect overuse and charge offenders); there should be posted signs that provide well ownership and how to check on line to identify the quantity being used. Should a decision be made to permit/license a high capacity well, adjacent landowners and watershed groups should be compensated should their wells or streams go dry. Also, their operating license should be suspended when wells or a watercourse runs dry

Water use permits must address a seasonal metering compliance certificate so that dry periods and droughts constrain water use during know periods of concern.

The impact of high capacity salt water wells needs to be addressed.

Science-based assessments should be only one of the tools. There is inadequate hydrological and geological science available at an individual aquifer level and, models by definition, are not fact. Watershed ecologists, toxicologists and other specialists must be involved not just engineers, hydrologists, and geologists. Also, qualified social scientists with credentials in community-based social analysis and marketing must also consulted. 

The act must address in-stream surface water extraction and the monitoring of these systems.

For existing wells exceeding 25 cubic meters per day, permits or lack thereof must be addressed as well as the placement of meters as noted above.

Current overuse by municipalities and potentially others must be addressed immediately and the offenders must fix and pay for the overuse by fines and/or imprisonment. Also, municipalities using well fields must address the issue of human density and water use within a community. Population densification in Charlottetown is a major factor in the Winter River running dry.

While total precipitation models look reasonable the movement to a higher frequency of high intensity rains and/or snow melts means water entrapment and infiltration will be challenged in both agricultural and urban areas. The impact of the removal of ditches and placement of sidewalks where they were once located should trigger an environmental assessment. Water use needs to be constrained during dry periods and conservation measures must ensure that streams do not go dry because of over use. Within urban areas having piped potable water, the use of this water for car washes should be prohibited in dry periods and the operators must switch over to their own well for washing vehicles. Certain other uses could be addressed the same way.

Transparency should be the rule not obfuscation. In Clause 18, the registry must be online and orders/changes should pop-up with a notification. In 18(4) replace "may" with "shall".

The need for a highly qualified water hydro-geologist needs to be addressed.

Lack of clarity or lack of definitions:

‘Guardianship", "animal", "bank and shore", "motor vehicle" needs to be defined.

Water borne sediment must be defined as a contaminant (e.g. Section 36(3) of the Fisheries Act.

"Environmental flow need" must be measurable

2(g) Clarify the quantity

"Person" should be a living human being under this act not a corporation or other legal construct.

In respect to water, how does the division of authority deal with ground and surface water? How do Aboriginal treaty and land rights tie into water use as defined in this act. Is there a duty to consult on this draft act?

16(1) Clarify what is intended and the science behind this reasoning e.g. watersheds and /or infiltration areas, underground aquifers should be mapped and total water extraction for natural habitat requirements and human use before agricultural and industrial use.

17(1) You address this but consider 2(h) above. The Minister’s report should be defined to a designated calendar period annually and the report must address the powers exercised as the Minister responsible for protecting our water 

21(1)(c) Why would a previous owner be the responsible party after property transfer?

21(1)(3) Post into open system GIS maps to identify orders

Divisions: Make consultations obligatory for high capacity wells. What about multiple wells on one property so that collective capacity is much higher?

32(2)(a) Government has failed to address species at risk declarations on PEI. This need to be addressed to cover the necessary context.

33(2) This should apply to the other divisions.

35(b) This appears to be non-compliant with the goals. Municipalities must limit their water use.

40(3) There is no limitation to a vehicle water capacity. What about ice making use?

46(1) Appears to be a way to overcome any objections on water use Who or what is Environmental Industrial Services Inc.

I wish the very best in this undertaking, It is rare that a minister and government address the fundamental human and wildlife rights that protect future generations.

April 17, 2017
Submission #1
Good Job so far, we do however need to take it a bit further. We still need to work on Fracking, Deep Water Wells, Nitrates and Pesticides contaminates. The water belongs to the people, please don't let the water be taken from under us as we have seen in other communities. Give the power back to us. You have heard great presenters these last few weeks that say it much better than myself and are well versed in this that offer great suggestions. Thanks for your hard work.

Submission #2
During the Easter Season, some of us have listened to the creation story as recounted in Genesis (1.1). In it, we read that God’s Spirit swept over “the face of the waters” and that God said “Let there be a dome in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” Although this story may be challenged from a scientific point of view, by faith, we believe that all of creation began with water. It is therefore most appropriate that the Government of PEI acknowledge the importance of water in our lives, and take steps to ensure its “quality, quantity, allocation, conservation and protection”, all in the interest of the “common good that benefits and accommodates all living things” (Section 2 (a)). It is also most appropriate that the people of PEI be consulted and invited to share their thoughts on this important aspect of Island life. In this spirit, I offer the following comments for the consideration of the Premier of PEI and his Minister in finalizing the PEI Water Act.

1. To begin, I offer my sincere congratulations to the Government of PEI and to the Minister of Communities, Land and Environment in particular, for pursuing this important piece of legislation, and the regulations and policies that will flow from it. 

2. To affirm the authenticity that water is for the “common good”, reference should be made to the United Nations Resolution 64/292, adopted on 28 July 2010, which recognizes the right to safe and clean drinking water (and sanitation) as a human right that is essential for the full enjoyment of life and all human rights. What is being proposed in the PEI Water Act follows directly from the UN resolution declaring the right to water as a human right for all. I would recommend that some reference to this global perspective be included in the PEI Water Act.

3. Section 2, which defines the purpose and goals of the Water Act, is well done; however, as indicated above, additional global context should be added.

4. Section 16 (1) is clearly intended to provide teeth to the legislation by requiring the Minister to establish a program to monitor the province’s water resources (The Minister “shall”). However, Section 16 (2) is weaker in that it gives the Minister the discretion to establish, or not establish, a program to monitor the province’s water resources for the purpose of assessing the presences of contaminants, evaluating the state of aquatic ecosystems and gaining a deeper understanding of the components of groundwater and aquatic ecosystems (The Minister “may”). This should NOT be optional for the Minister. The wording in Section 16 (2) should be changed to “The Minister shall” (as in Section 16 (1)).

5. In ensuring long-term sustainability of water resources, certain projects should be considered “red flags” in drafting the Water Act. In my view, high capacity wells and hydraulic fracking are two such red flags. It is recognized that there is currently a moratorium on high capacity wells; this moratorium should be maintained and monitored in accordance with Section 16 of the Act. It is also my view that there is no place for hydraulic fracking on PEI. A prohibition on fracking should be specifically included in the Act.

6. While the Government of PEI is to be commended for its consultation in the drafting of the Water Act, it is important that consultative processes of this kind be continued and become the normal part of “doing business” when dealing with important Island resources. In this regard, the Government should go beyond the concept of managing water resources to putting in place a strong governance structure that engages the general population. While government-appointed Advisory Board are useful and helpful, they are not sufficient to ensure impartial input into legislative and regulatory instruments that affect the future of our children and grandchildren. Through this Water Act, the Government has the opportunity to enshrine innovative and creative processes to engage the people of PEI in shaping its future. 

Submission #3
The mouse scampered back and forth on the old dead tree fallen across the little tributary at the back end of our land. The wee creature didn't notice the giant human creature watching it explore its little world. Just as it did not notice me it and all the other inhabitants in the world Mother Nature embraces have no way of noticing anything we humans do that impacts on them. We have the responsibility of ensuring their and ultimately our own world is kept safe for the eons of time ahead.
We can do this in our little corner of Earth:
[1] Make a CLEAR statement regarding the moratorium on deep wells, that there will be an on going moratorium, that no permits will be issued for any criteria, and that an independent scientific study is completed.
[2] Clarify the ban on exporting our water. Make it trade deal resistant. The selling of our water will not only help deplete our source but will make it a commodity bu which trade deals allow international businesses to sue governments for loss of profits.
[3] Remove "ministerial powers" from allowing special permits and any other decision making process regarding our water. This kind of "one person" power is fraught with potential for abuse.
[4] Remove the potential of loopholes in the wording that would allow municipalities to "exceed environmental flow rates". 
[5] The absence of including the practice of fracking in this draft is a problem. It is well known that fracking elsewhere has caused serious problems for aqua firs. There have been efforts in intentions to frack for energy sources on PEI in the past. Make sure there is a door slammed on this happening in our shale rock and hence delicate aqua fir system.
[6] Don't rely on regulations to protect water. These can be "watered down" [pardon the pun] too easily.
We want that little mouse and many others to scamper across old fallen logs in the sublime expectation it is always safe to do so. And that that little stream will be forever clear and pollutant free for all the eco system relying on it.

Submission #4
Years of observations of many agriculture fields have given me photographic proof of the disregard for water ways and soil. Some stewards of the land should be restricted from cultivating sensitive to erosion areas.The 15 meter buffer is not adequate especially at the heads of water sheds.We have to take these multiple areas out of production.Even if it means compensating stewards it must be done.This is just to important to be left to stewards to solve.Any area that flows water in spring thaw or rain events.Must be left in vegetation.I know many would oppose this idea but It must be done and I encourage you to make these tough decisions.To make positive change. The island is surrounded by geological oil and gas traps. Where by fracturing may be the cheapest way for extracting it.The sandstone under this island could be easily fracked threatening our ground water.I would suggest Hydraulic fracturing be banned as a precaution. The hand out at a recent water act consultation suggests we have more water than we could ever use under us. At least the numbers given suggest this. Thus high capacity wells seem to have been suggested to go ahead. We can not know the future,drought could threaten all water levels. Causing many residential wells to be drilled deeper to reach essential water that is ever living things right.The Irving needs for bigger potatoes will not compensate home owners these costs and we cannot risk our essential water. For if these wells flow they will not to stopped. 
The nitrates in all water including wells,rivers and the ocean must be stopped.It is a crime to poison us and all life.Industrial agriculture is destroying this Island .Time to promote organics and prosper ethically.

Submission #5
Having attended and spoken at the public consultation held by Hon. Robert Mitchell, Minister of the Environment and his team consisting of Jim Young and George Sommers on April 10, 2017, I felt it was important to follow-up with a written submission. I agree with the other presenters at the meeting stating that Section II of the proposed Water Act is well written and successful in stating he importance of protecting the quality and quantity of our Island water. 
I also commend the Minister for Section V stating that there will be a prohibition of the removal of bottled water from being shipped out of P.E.I.
However, the proposed Water Act falls short in the omission of including a section dealing with a ban on the drilling of high capacity wells for the purpose of agricultural irrigation. This omission was identified b the National Farmers' Union and the Copper Institute. The Cooper Institute stated the could be remedied by writing it into Section VII of the Water Act.
The proposed Water Act also omitted to sate there should be a prohibition of fracking in the Province of P.E.I. This fact was also identified by the National Farmers' Union. Hon. Mitchell responded in her remarks stating that fracking is not a "water issue", but the majority of the people at the well attended meeting felt a ban on tracing should be invoked and they did so with a show of hands. The Cooper Institute stated a ban on fracking should be included in Section VII of the proposed Water Act.
I also agree with the Cooper Institute and the National Farmers' Union that the Minister of the Environment needs a community based "Advisory Council" to ensure lobby groups don't convince the Cabinet of our government that the proposed Regulation of the Water Act should be changed and made more lenient. I strongly urge the Minister to heed this wise advice. There are many volunteers serving on the Watersheds of our province with a wealth of knowledge, hands on experience, and good common sense that would share their valuable wisdom in guiding the Minister in his mandate to protect our water.

Submission #6
I want to thank the Premier of P.E.I. And the Minister of the Department of Communities, Land and Environment for moving forward with this very important "Water Act"
All Islanders from tip to tip want their water to be protected and safe to drink for generations to come.
* Water is a basic human right. For this reason a stronger statement should be in the Act to enshrine the right and access to clean safe drinking water for all Islanders.
* Thank you for the ban on water exports included in this Act
* This Water Act was born from a request for the lifting on the moratorium on high capacity wells in 2015 and Islanders out cry to the possible lifting of the moratorium. Sustainable farming practices implemented, monitored and enforced ie: 3 year crop rotation, cover crops to protect the soil, buffer zones would go along way to help water retention and conservation.
I recommend monitoring and data gathering on the existing high capacity wells to ensure they are not creating issues.
I recommend the moratorium on high capacity wells remain in place
* Sections 16-18 dealing with monitoring and reporting is great. There are a number of places where it says "Minister may" establish programs - it should say "shall". The use of the word "shall" carries more weight than the word "may"! 
* A ban on hydraulic fractoring (fracking) be included in the Act. We do not need to wait for someone to come knocking on our door to recognize the dangers of such a practice. One only needs to look a what is happening in other areas to know it is not something we want for PEI. Please put it in our Act so, Islanders will know, that no matter what government is in power the approval of this practice will not be on the table.
* water governance - Islanders need to be more involved 
Funding and empowerment of our watershed groups. Our watershed groups and all residents are stakeholders and should be involved in consultations and policy development. 
* The inclusion of polluter pay is a good start to deter those who choose to abuse their right to soil and water

I look forward to more public input during the drafting of the regulations

Submission #7
Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the draft of the Water Act. I appreciate that the draft recognizes that water must be protected, must be held in common, is a public trust and is not a commodity to be bought and sold. These values are critical in ensuring that our water is cared for appropriately so it is clean and available in adequate quantities for the present and for future generations. I am also grateful that the draft bans companies from bottling water for export and that polluters will be held financially accountable for damaging our water.

However, there are some glaring omissions from the draft that must be included if we are serious about protecting water. Surely it is patently obvious that fracking would be extremely damaging to our water supply. Oil and gas companies have deep pockets for lobbying governments. The Act must clearly prohibit fracking so no present or future government is tempted to cave in to corporations and allow such a dangerous practice.

Another omission is mention of high capacity wells. Although the moratorium is in place for another year, it is crucial that the Act prohibit the drilling of any more deep water wells in order to ensure that there will always be adequate amounts of water for human and animal requirements.

The level of nitrates in drinking water on the island, particularly in certain areas, is alarming. Nitrates are known to be harmful to humans and should not be present in drinking water at all. It is essential that the Act specify enforceable strategies for protecting our water from contaminants with financial penalties for those who pollute. 

All decisions about water protections should be transparent and involve the people of Prince Edward Island. No significant decisions should be left to a Minister or to Cabinet. Clean, potable water in sufficient quantities to satisfy the needs of all living things is a right. Caring for our water requires progressive legislation, absolute transparency, enforceable regulations and a strong commitment to preserving the quantity and quality of our water over corporations' wishes and economic benefits.

Submission #8
Water Act Public Consultation Submission (provided in pdf)

Submission #9

Good evening, Sorry folks but I have had precious little time to formulate many thoughts on the Draft Water Act. What I hear about sins of omission (i.e. prolonging moratorium on Deep Water Wells, failure to ban Fracking to name a couple) is disturbing. We need to get this right - water is a public resource, it should not be squandered like our soils have been squandered by several types of corporate farming. Just 'saying it' is not enough. There have to be strong carefully crafted measures and enforcement there to protect this resource for all. Basically I am scared that nothing of much good will come of this Act, but rather than be a complete pessimist I defer to some balanced words of wisdom shared publicly on the Citizen's Alliance of PEI website from Mr Gary Schneider who has decades of experience that he draws upon. You would be well advised to follow his lead on these considerations. Several of his points have been echoed or variously stated by other public commentaries. Thank you for the opportunity to submit these few thoughts.

Quote from Mr. Gary Schneider: "I have been involved with this process from the beginning, through the Environmental Coalition of Prince Edward Island and the Coalition for the Protection of PEI Water. The process to date has been great. In fact, I have been using it as an example of a solid public process when I attend national meetings on environmental assessment. Unfortunately, things seem to be falling apart at the end. The delays in releasing the report, combined with the almost simultaneous release of the Climate Change Strategy and Energy Policy have left people scrambling to keep up. And then there are only four public meetings and they are happening quickly. With all that, we suddenly find ourselves unaware of the process and timing. What is going to happen, and when? How will our comments and concerns be addressed?

There are some excellent parts of the draft Act. The “purposes” section is very strong, especially (a) Government has a guardianship role to play in ensuring that the quality, quantity, allocation, conservation and protection of water is managed in the interests of a common good that benefits and accommodates all living things in the province, and their supporting ecosystems. If we just followed that simple statement, we could solve all the water problems on PEI. In the same section, it is good to see that (b) access for everyone to a sufficient quantity and safe quality of reasonably affordable and accessible water for personal and domestic uses, and to basic sanitation that is safe and hygienic, is essential for an adequate standard of living. I would like to see this strengthen to ensure that these are basic human rights, something that many presenters spoke about at the public meetings. The plan for increased reporting on the state of our water is very welcome. With water being of such importance here, and facing so many threats, this is long overdue. The ban on the export of water also sends a strong message to Islanders. The use of the term "precautionary principle" in the "Key Statements" is great to see, though I would have liked to see that exact term inside the actual Act. The idea of minimum environmental flows in Island waterways will, if we look at all components of a healthy ecosystem, go a long way to preventing problems such as those that regularly occur in the Winter River. Making information on water accessible and creating a public registry will be of great benefit to Islanders, not the least of which is that people will use water more carefully if they know that other members of the public is aware of what is happening. This information, and the registry, should be available on-line, and so I would like to see “shall” instead of “may” in these sections. There is also great potential for learning and adapting within the draft Act, so that as new information and even technology comes along, we can continuously improve.

I know that many of the things I am looking for should be in the regulations. But without knowing what they will contain, here are some of my concerns.

After carefully reading the draft Act, I still don’t know how we are going to protect water in this province. I would have liked to have seen, even in a preamble or in the “Inside the Water Act” document, a statement on how we’re going to substantially reduce nitrates and pesticides in our waterways. Islanders need and deserve clear and enforceable targets on reducing nitrates, agricultural and cosmetic pesticides, and soil erosion, and to know how these will be achieved. This will include everything from removing loopholes and strengthening the crop rotation legislation to increasing the width of buffer zones as needed to protect waterways."

End of quote from Mr. Schneider. No one has the complete answer, but Mr. Schneider hits many key points. Check out his submission for more points. 

April 16, 2017
Water Act Public Consultation Submission (provided in pdf)

April 15, 2017

Submission #1
We can all be guardians of the quality, conservation of and protection of PEI's water. After attending the Charlottetown meeting regarding the water act, I left with many concerns regarding potato farmers and industrial agriculture on PEI feeling entitled to abuse the land and our shared water. The past farm practices of these two organizations speaks for itself as to how serious some members are about being Stewarts of the land. I was very concerned with the suggestion of being compensated for land that must be taken out of production from bad farm practices. I also heard the mention of them not paying for water permits. Regularly we see waterways filled with silt running directly into ditches and watercourses then directly into the ocean damaging ecosystems. Most of this is due to farming and large developments. Right now in the courts the past PEI Potato Board president is appealling a charge of this such event. I can only assume this person's reasoning is a product of past government who allowed this industry to regard our shared land as a means of financial gain and not be reprimanded or have any confrontation of detrimental farm practices. While in Ontario last summer PEI was talked about, not for the beautiful beaches but of the extreme fish kills that routinely happen after large rain. This, in my opinion, is unacceptable. My husband and I routinely see this damage to waterways. We have not reported in the past but will make it our personal policy to be Stewarts of the land and bring these sightings to attention of fellow islanders and Government until we can get these stopped. I feel larger buffer zones, hedgerows and more monitoring whether public or Government Enforcement Officers can help. This is needed, not only, farming but also land development for private use as well. It is not only generations of families running farms on PEI, as I too am a fourth generation Island who wants my home of PEI to be respected for my children and grandchildren.


Submission #2
I am so thankful to live where I do on PEI, and for our water. It is Such a blessing, that not everyone presently shares.
My hope is, with mindful stewardship, the water will be given the respect it desires. I know that is not how we talk, or see things.. but it is truth.
It is not to be not be used as a commodity, in support of greed.

Submission #3
PEI water sources are fragile. There are huge demands on our ground water now, but with the increasing construction of new homes, climate change, and the individual increase in water consumption each year, these demands may not be met in the near future. We cannot afford to squander deep-water wells. Please put a permanent moratorium on them for construction purposes.

April 14, 2017

Submission #1
It is essential that we govern our water use. The Island is particularly sensitve to low water tables due to agriculture practices and our dependence on ground water. There should be laws in place for water protection that serves all life on PEI. Extreme uses such as bottle water marketing should not be allowed.

Submission #2
I believe that a ban on fracking belongs in the Water Act not in the regulations. Regulations are too easy to change and every Minister has their own set of priorities so it would be too easy for a new Minister to undo a ban that is only in the regulations.

Submission #3
Please protect our ground water by not allowing fracking and deep water wells.

Submission #4
I would like to see our Island watershed groups play a bigger role in all decisions pertaining to water conservation on our Island. Please no tracking and be very careful with deep water wells. Thank you.

Submission #5
I am grateful that the government is putting a great deal of time and effort and talent into creating a Water Act. I would like to take this opportunity to express more specifically my appreciation and concerns. 

Concerns:
Fracking: I believe that the difficulties incurred in other jurisdictions would be ample support for a provincial ban. I don't believe that the risk involved is even close to being justified. 

Contaminants: The draft legislation defines water contaminants, but doesn’t include a plan to eliminate them. This needs to be addressed plainly and clearly.

Appreciation:
Bottled water companies will not be allowed to export PEI groundwater. Good!

Deep water well proposals can be stopped by the minister. II appreciate this step however, I would definitely like it to be considerable stronger by not allowing deep water well approvals at all, not just at the minister’s discretion.

Access to water seems to be protected, though this could be strengthened by referencing the UN-recognized human right to water and sanitation.

Thank you to Minister Mitchell and all who are working hard to make this Act an excellent one.

Submission #6
Many households on PEI depend on their private wells to supply their water needs. These wells are vulnerable to any disturbance or contamination to the underground rivers that feed them. Fracking poses a danger to those rivers, which we cannot allow. Thousands of Islanders would be effected if their water source should dry up or become polluted. The United Nations has declared access to clean water and sanitation, a Human Right. We trust our government to protect us from exploitation of this resource by denying permits for deep wells and bottled water companies.

April 13, 2017
Submission #1
Please this is our children future we are talking about....my daughter lives in North labrador where they can't drink the water or brush their teeth.....That's the last thing I want to see on this little island is water that we can't drink or lack of water because of fracking!

Submission #2
My concern is for the residents that are on private wells. City residents are assured quality water with municipal testing and safeguards provided for them. The cost of water testing has risen considerably and as a result many people do not have their water tested on a regular basis or not at all.
I believe that each family should be allowed one free water test per year to ensure safety and fairness to all Islanders. There are many people who cannot afford these tests and are putting their children and selves at risk and ask for you consideration of this serious problem. Many thanks.

Submission #3
I've perused the draft Act and find it leaves gaping holes where legislation can be introduced to CONSERVE water. I live in rural PEI in the Winter River watershed. I in fact own a small property with a pond that has been there since the 1960's. This pond has continuously suffered from silt infilling and decreasing water levels. My family and many around us attempt to conserve water by using rain catchment and not watering our lawns. 

Why does the proposed Act not include some form of legislation that requires citizens to conserve water? Installation of water meters in Charlottetown is not a solution. People will still waste water and simply pay the extra. Can there not be some form of requirement for existing or new construction, (residential or commercial) to incorporate some form of conservation plan. Many large cities across the world utilize the roof areas of large building to catch water that can be then used as "grey" water for the daily operation of the building. 

Again, we as a Province always seem to be a step behind when we have the opportunity, (due to our size) to implement a new way of thinking and to become a leader in water conservation.

Submission #4
"ECELAW urges the government of PEI to take advantage of the expertise that exists within its citizenry and the non-profit organizations that support them. We recommend that the government host a round table session of participants with relevant knowledge and expertise to complete a clause by clause review of the draft Act as part of the public consultation process. The volunteer sector and the contribution they make to society is vastly underrated and undervalued, just like the environment."

The draft water act will be presented in the house and the majority liberal government will pass it. High capacity wells and fracking are not dealt with in the act - apparently to be addressed in the regulations. Islanders have been highly engaged in this process because they fear their government will not make the right decisons for ordinary islanders in the face of extreme pressure from corporate interests. This fear is well founded.

To reduce the fear and sceptism the recommendation that the government of PEI take advantage of the expertise that exists within its citizenry and the non-profit organizations and include those with relevant knowledge and expertise is a good one. While this is too late to do before the water act becomes legislation, it is not too late to include these people in the setting down of the regulations.

I ask the Honourable Minister to consider including those citizens and non-profit organizations who have demonstrated relevant knowledge through the public consultation process to have input into the regulations before they are finalized.
 

April 12, 2017 (Public Consultation Session - Pooles Corner)
Audio recording of the session - part a (15 Mb)
Audio recording of the session - part b (16 Mb)
Presentation - Environmental Coalition of Prince Edward Island 
Presentation - Winter River - Tracadie Bay Watershed Association
Presentation -  Coalition for the Protection of PEI Water  (includes separate submission to Department)

April 12, 2017
Submission #1
PART I:
I strongly support the purpose and goals set out in the draft Water Act. I also think that the definitions are clear and seem comprehensive and I support the declaration in section 3.

PART II:
In general, I support the provisions in this Part. I suggest adding a section at the beginning of this Part which states that, in all decisions made and actions taken under this Act, the Minister and environment officers shall be guided by and comply with the purpose and goals of the Act (or words to that effect). I think that such a section would strengthen the Act.

I suggest that all clauses in section 16 be mandatory "shall" clauses. Assessing the presence and state of contaminants, evaluating the state of aquatic systems, and developing a deeper understanding of the components of groundwater and aquatic ecosystems are as important as detecting and assessing trends and monitoring the effectiveness of legislation, policies and other initiatives.

PART III:
I support the provisions of this Part, in particular the "polluter pays" provisions in section 21.

PART V:
I support the ban in section 40 on removing water, including bottled water, from the province, except for the specified purposes.
I suggest adding a ban on hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") which states that no person shall withdraw or use water for the purpose of hydraulic fracturing. It is important that this ban be provided for in the Act rather than just by regulation because, although the current Minister might support a ban on fracking, another minister at a later time might want to remove such a ban. Removing a ban from regulations can be done behind closed doors by Cabinet, but a ban in the Act could only be removed by the Legislative Assembly.

PART VI:
The document "Inside the Water Act" indicates that Part VI is taken primarily from the Environmental Protection Act. A quick review reveals there are some differences, but most of these are probably improvements. I find a few things about Part VI puzzling. Section 18.1 of the Environmental Protection Act is specific to the Island Waste Management Corporation, which is a Crown corporation, and section 18.2 says that the Civil Service Act does not apply to any person engaged or employed by the Island Waste Management Corporation or "Environmental Industrial Services Inc., or any other corporation owned by the Island Waste Management Corporation. " This implies that Environmental Industrial Services Inc. is owned by the Island Waste Management Corporation. What is Environmental Industrial Services Inc. and why is continuation of it set out in section 46(9) of the draft Water Act, but the Island Waste Management Corporation is not mentioned at all? A google search of Environmental Industrial Services Inc. reveals that it operates the sewage treatment plant in Charlottetown and "a number of water and wastewater systems across the province for various public and private entities". The employee directory of the Island Waste Management Corporation includes some employees of Environmental Industrial Services Inc. Does a Crown corporation (Island Waste Management Corporation) own a private company ( Environmental Industrial Services Inc.)? To what extent does the draft Water Act allow for the privatization of public utilities responsible for water supply and wastewater systems? Is it possible to make the Water Act more transparent, and if necessary more restrictive, in this regard

Submission #2

Water Act Public Consultation Submission (provided in pdf)

Submission #3

All water - but especially ours on PEI - need to be safeguarded!
As a senior I remember farmers doing quite well without the need for "deep-water wells". I'm afraid that once again
We are being held captive by large companies & corporations.
Instead of promoting bottled water, (for use or sale) we should be encouraging green farming - personally, I would like to see
"PEI -The Organic Island"! What a wonderful legacy to leave our children & grandchildren. Respectively.​

Submission #4
There should be absolutely no fracking allowed on PEI due to the potential risks to the environment, especially given our limited groundwater sources. There should be strict limits on water usage for farming, industrial, and private use. Our water table here is extremely limited and fragile.

 

April 11, 2017
Water Act Public Consultation Submission (provided in pdf)  


April 10, 2017 (Public Consultation Session - Charlottetown)
Audio recording of the session - part a (21 Mb)
Audio recording of the session - part b  (22 Mb)
Audio recording of the session - part c  (22 Mb)
Presentation - Dr. Don Mazer
Presentation - The National Farmers Union - District 1, Region 1 
Presentation - Cooper Institute 
Presentation - PEI Federation of Agriculture
Presentation - PEI Potato Board

April 10, 2017
Submission #1
Water Act Public Consultation Submission (provided in pdf)

Submission #2
Please ensure that the following three points are addressed in the new Water Act and regulations:
- No new deep water wells for agricultural or other purposes.
- No fracking or use of water for fracking.
- No bottling of water for commercial purposes.

Submission #3
It is a good thing that the proposed Water Act prohibits the bottling of water for export sale -- clean drinking water was identified by the United Nations many years ago as a fundamental human right for all people, and I believe that selling clean drinking water for profit is a violation of this right.

Furthermore, on Prince Edward Island (and in most of the rest of Canada) there is no need for either the extraction or the sale of water, since our water is carefully monitored as being clean and safe to drink. These large companies (Nestles, Pepsi/Coke) are gauging the poor by 'suggestive advertising' indicating that we really need bottled water for our safety and our health. Of course, then there is also the question and potential problem of the making and disposing of those ubiquitous plastic bottles!

I am VERY concerned that the proposed Water Act does not specifically prohibit the use of our groundwater for 'fracking'. Given the type of rock on the Island, it seems to me that using groundwater for this purpose will greatly speed up the process of erosion natural to our Island rock composition. I haven't read anything to suggest that anything good can ultimately come from this type of fuel extraction, and I certainly do not think it is an activity that will benefit either our land, water or Islanders.

Please would you seriously reconsider these 'omissions'/concerns.
 

April 9, 2017
Submission #1
I welcome the work that has been done on the protection of water on PEI. I think more needs to be done. Fracking is causing so much distress in New Brunswick and other places that I think we need the law to ban the practice here before it becomes a problem. The worst problem with water in PEI, however, is fertilizers and other contaminants in the water; a stringent process should be put in place to prevent further contamination and to remove contaminants already in the water. I am aware that this is difficult, as everything put on the soil eventually seeps into the ground water, but surely it can be done. 

Submission #2
Water Act Public Consultation Submission (provided in pdf)

Submission #3
Clear language is essential to ensure protection of water and ecosystems. 

- For several summers now Charlottetown residents are restricted how they can use water. This surely is a clear indication that our ground waters are dwindling.
- Fracking should be banned. The risks are just too high for a small island.
- Water contaminants should not only define but should also include a plan to eliminate them.
- Bottled water companies should not be allowed to export PEI groundwater.
- Deep water well should just not be allowed. Our island is surrounded by salt water. Why is desalination technology not used if water is needed for crop?

Submission #4
Last summer for the first time, Midgell river joined a number of other rivers in the Province by going anoxic (no oxygen).  Yet the acreage for potates farming in river watersheds along with clearcutting continue to increase.  What other results could anyone other that an idiot expect?

April 8, 2017
Submission #1
Good, clean drinking water is one of our precious resources. Fracking and deep water wells are a threat to this resource and should not be allowed in our province. I hope that a new Water Act will take this into consideration.

Submission #2
Please understand that "Our" water is just that "OURS". Let the people make this decision as Government makes really bad decisions in regards to the things they do not completely understand. 

One by one our voices are coming together, we will be heard, but will you listen?

Submission #3
When my son moved here from Ontario 3 years ago, he was looking forward to the fishing. PEI used to be known as a fishermen's paradise. He was so disappointed to find almost no fish in the streams and signs posted everywhere that fishing was not allowed. This was because of the fish kills - which is because of how farming is done. 
The Water Act needs to be strengthened so that it doesn't just define contaminants, but that a means is put into place to eliminate and prevent the contamination from happening in the first place. I realize this is a very large task as if involves the farming industry; but please remember, farming was thriving before Cavendish, Monsanto and the contaminants came to the island in the first place. Farming did not previously contaminate the water and cause fish kills. This requires a thoughtful and forward-looking plan. 
Although PEI seems to have so much water, deep water wells are a concern. We should not sacrifice Islanders' water sources so that Cavendish can sell more French fries. Currently, if I'm correct, deep water wells can be stopped by the minister. However, this should be strengthened so that it does not depend on one person's action; it should be entrenched in the Water Act. 
Thank-you.

Submission #4
Fracking: A provincial ban on fracking just makes sense. Along with concerns about water contamination, tailings ponds and the potential for earthquakes, the industry simply isn’t viable in PEI. This should be an easy victory for water protection.
Contaminants: The draft legislation defines water contaminants, but doesn’t include a plan to eliminate them. How will the water act protect groundwater from contamination? Clear language is essential to ensure protection of water and ecosystems.
Bottled water companies should not be allowed to export island groundwater. We have no natural source of groundwater other than existing watersheds.
Access to water seems to be protected, though this could be strengthened by referencing the UN-recognized human right to water and sanitation.

Submission #5
We need to stop water bottling companies from selling massive amounts of our water for profit. Safe drinking water belongs to the citizens of PEI and is a basic human right. I am also dead against fracking which will make the water in our acuafirs unfit to drink forever. We must protect our rivers and streams from all pollutants to protect our environment. Healthy environment, healthy people. It's as simple as that.


April 7, 2017
Submission #1
Fracking should never be allowed on PEI. We do not need chemicals in our groundwater. No company should be allowed to bottle and export water from PEI. And as far as Deep Water Wells goes " to the Premiers Discretion? "....do we have a democracy or a one-party -dictatorship.?

Submission #2
While I applaud the intent to protect PEI water with this proposed Water Act, I am dismayed that the terms do not go far enough. For example, fracking should be completely banned. There should be provisions for removing contaminants from water. The principle of contaminator pays should be adopted. Deep water wells should be banned completely, not left to a Minister's discretion. Companies such as Nestle must not be allowed to bottle PEI water.

Submission #3
I am glad that PEI is going to have a water act but I am wondering if it goes far enough to protect our ground water. I do not believe that there should be ANY deep water wells at all, even if some minister thinks it is a good idea. It isn't. Our ground water resources are limited and may be subject to wild fluctuations in the years of climate change to come. I also am totally opposed to fracking of any kind. Pouring hundreds of unnamed chemicals into the ground here (or anywhere) would be sheer insanity, given our limited and precious ground water resources. To preserve the purity of our water, the use of pesticides should be strictly limited and eventually phased out when possible. Also, I believe that those giant cruise ships should have strict limits put on the water they can draw from the Charlottetown supply, and that the water taken should be metered and charged a fair price for. With those giant ships sucking the city's water away, it is no wonder that the Winter River runs dry often and that other water resources are drawn down to dangerously low levels. Again, given the increasing fluctuations of weather that climate change will cause, we need to be very vigilant in protecting our PEI water. The Water Act should error on the side of prudence and caution!

Submission #4
Clean ground water in PEI is not

Bottled water companies will not be allowed to export PEI groundwater.  
Deep water well proposals can be stopped by the minister. This could be stronger by not allowing deep water well approvals at all, not just at the minister’s discretion.  
Access to water seems to be protected, though this could be strengthened by referencing the UN-recognized human right to water and sanitation.

Submission #5
Thank you so much for all the hard work on the water act. As we move to the finish line on this we need stronger language on several issues: we need to actively phase out chemical use on farmland and immediately institute a ban on all cosmetic pesticides; a permenant ban on fracking; ban all deep water wells; and institute strong regulations on crop rotation and buffer zones. I just drove from my home near Caledonia to Moncton today and every island river I crossed was red with silt. We are not protecting our drinking water and we are not protecting our rivers and streams. We must do better. Let's not rush this process. We must get this right and protect our water for future generations. It is, after all, a human right.

Submission #6
Despite the considerable support shown for a ban on high volume slickwater hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, the act doesn’t even mention it.
Looking at the report following the public consultations, prohibiting fracking was not only one of the report’s general recommendations, but was also recommended as one of six guiding principles of the Water Act.
Four out of 25 of the report’s recommendations under the theme of ‘protection’ of water were that fracking should be banned. Four of the groups making presentations called for a ban.
At the Environmental Forum before the election, the Premier stated that “a moratorium may come through the Water Act process”. We were led to believe that the Water Act was the legislation that would be used to address this issue.
The prime cause for concern regarding fracking is water - the massive volume that is used and turned into industrial waste, and the almost certainty that groundwater (therefore our drinking water) will be polluted with noxious chemicals.
The Water Act banned the export of water. It should also ban the use of water for hydraulic fracturing, and ban the injection of toxic chemicals through the aquifer.

April 6, 2017
Submission #1
I was unable to attend the meeting about the Water Act Draft in Summerside but need to express how important it is to me and to all Islanders that there needs to be an outright ban on any fracking in P.E.I.. It has been demonstrated in place after place how damaging this practice is. It needs to be stopped everywhere but especially on this Island with it's limited resources. Fracking is STUPID and we need to protect this land from such exploitation by people who have no interest in caring for the natural treasure we have in this land. This is a political HOT POTATO and a ban on fracking DEFINITELY needs to be included in the Water Act. Why has there been no mention??? You will be hearing from many others about this issue.

Submission #2
Please add BAN FRACKING to the water act. Thank You.

Submission #3
I am terribly concerned that "fracking" might become a reality for PEI. This is disconcerting. The fracking processes introduces an inordinate number of chemicals into the earth and, in the case of a shale foundation, into the water base. Allowing fracking, even on a miniscule level, not only has potential to destroy the Island water base. It will, without doubt, destroy the water base. Because of the shale, that destruction will spread to the ocean waters and the supply of seafood -- the latter of which is also critical to the PEI economy. Without exception, communities in which fracking has been permitted have suffered not only water problems but also a serious increase in cancer levels and other illnesses. The danger of this process becomes obvious when even the inventor of the process now opposes it. Please...no fracking!

Submission #4
Very, VERY disappointing that there is no mention of the deep-well drilling - we MUST not allow this. Also no mention of fracking. What is wrong with you? When will you start to listen to the people as you promised you would? Why do you not put health of people and the environment and sustainability of our life here as a main priority?

April 5, 2017 (Public Consultation Session - Summerside)
Audio recording of the session (23Mb).
Presentation - Council of Canadians.


April 5, 2017

Submission #1
I agree with the following submission as quoted, "After carefully reading the draft Act, I still don’t know how we are going to protect water in this province. I would have liked to have seen, even in a preamble or in the “Inside the Water Act” document, a statement on how we’re going to substantially reduce nitrates and pesticides in our waterways. Islanders need and deserve clear and enforceable targets on reducing nitrates, agricultural and cosmetic pesticides, and soil erosion, and to know how these will be achieved. This will include everything from removing loopholes and strengthening the crop rotation legislation to increasing the width of buffer zones as needed to protect waterways.

There is no ban on fracking, something that the Premier promised would be dealt with in the Water Act.

There is no clear message on maintaining the moratorium on high-capacity wells for agriculture, something that most Islanders agree needs to be done."

I would add - ongoing research on our water quality is paramount to our health

Submission #2
Establishment of a Water Act is a positive step for the province. However, decisions on well permitting and water extraction should be based on the best available science, not "public opinion."

Government statistics show that we only use 1.4% of available water in PEI, and only 1.2% of that water use is for agricultural irrigation. That tells me that there is a lot of public hysteria over something that does not actually use a significant portion of our water resource. The blanket moratorium on high capacity wells for irrigation should be lifted, and the new permitting framework should apply to all high capacity well permits. If it is found that responsible water extraction for a couple of months a year, primarily in rural areas, will not adversely affect private wells or aquatic ecosystems, then they should be approved. To do otherwise is prejudicial against agriculture and runs opposite to the reality is most other jurisdictions.

We must rely on scientific data and expert opinion to assist us with making decisions on responsible water use, not emotional statements that are prejudiced against an entire industry.

Submission #3
On behalf of the Gros Morne Co-operating Association (GMCA), please find the Executive Summary report of May 2016 of the Newfoundland & Labrador Hydraulic Fracturing Review Panel. This Panel of 5 independent scientists and 15 independent scientific advisors arrived at the conclusion that the "precautionary principle" should be applied by the NL government. You will note its 85 recommendations including a request for a Human Health Impact Analysis PRIOR to allowing fracking. Also, for us, it was determined that fracking will not be beneficial economically, and that our tourism industry will be affected, not mentioning the environmental impact on a short and long term basis. The concept of Social Licence was very much part of this review and that the great majority of the people of the west coast of Nfld. were against fracking. I encourage your committee members to read this report also in terms to your contribution to climate change. (http://nlhfrp.ca/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Executive-Summary.pdf)

Best of luck and with respect.

April 4, 2017
There is NO QUESTION Fracking must be BANNED. This would destroy not only our drinking water but the aquifer which our Agricultural and Fisheries and wells depend upon. Please do not only bandaid our Water Protection Act without applying this very essential layer BAN FRACKING!

April 3, 2017 (Public Consultation Session - Elmsdale)
Audio recording of the session (19Mb).
Presentation - Watershed Management Group and Municipality of Lot 11 and Area.

March 29, 2017

Submission #1
As a hydrogeologist I may be looking at this more holistically and offer the following closely related comment and question.

1) The volume to trigger approvals is probably higher than it should be and could/should be reduced, and should include farms in all cases since they make industrial use of groundwater in many cases.

2) Why target water bottlers and not other forms of water export, such as (very environmentally costly) irrigation water stored in potatoes?

Regarding item 2), we see similar situations here in Nova Scotia, where water bottlers are attached by the media and the public (with ill-directed political responses), whereby farms (for irrigation), food processors, and other manufacturers (i.e. tire manufacturers using groundwater to cool their dies) are able to extract much larger volumes of groundwater and discharge them to waste (some directly to the ocean, some through publicly-funded wastewater treatment plants), without any apparent implications from the public (ignorance is bliss). Yet, these farmers and manufacturers all export groundwater in the form of their products.

The time is overdue for regulatory policy to be based on sound science, rather than on misinformed public perception and ill-fated political hiccup responses. Please consider these concerns in your up-and-coming new regulations.

Submission #2
I have a summer cottage in a summer cottage subdivision with a central water system and would like the act to include no private wells allowed for the health and safety of residents and property values and investments that could be affected.

March 26, 2017
Water Act Public Consultation Submission (provided in pdf)


March 17, 2017

I think this new water act is a necessary first step in protecting our natural resources. Selling water for profit is an affront to all citizens where access to clean, safe and sustainable water should be a right

 

Published date: 
May 4, 2017
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