Islanders invited to comment on water withdrawal regulations
The public is invited to provide input on new draft regulations under the Water Act. These regulations will control water extraction and outline how much water can be drawn from wells, watercourses and wetlands.
Brad Trivers, Minister of Environment, Water and Climate Change, tabled the water withdrawal regulations today in the legislature. It is the last of three sets of regulations required to bring the Water Act into force this fall.
“Islanders care deeply about our water. The water withdrawal regulations will help us manage and track how much water is being used and by whom, closing loopholes that currently exist in our regulations,” said Minister Trivers. “It will ensure our water is protected as we prepare to make future policy decisions that will be science based, and backed by local research.”
The water withdrawal regulation consultations begin online today and will continue until October 2, 2019. Public meetings will be scheduled in the fall. To review the regulations and comment, visit Water Act.
The water withdrawal regulations provide enhanced permitting of low capacity and high capacity wells. The regulations require permits for those who use more than normal household levels.
Under the new regulations, wells will now be categorized into three types, with the following approval and permitting requirements:
- Domestic wells have a flow rate less than 25 m3 (cubic metres) per day and no approval requirements under the water withdrawal regulations;
- Low capacity wells have a flow rate greater than 25 m3 and less than 345 m3 per day and will require assessments and permits; and,
- High capacity wells have a flow rate greater than 345 m3 per day and will require detailed assessments and permits.
Department of Environment, Water and Climate Change
The Prince Edward Island Water Act was passed in the legislature in the fall of 2017.
To bring the act into force, there are three sets of regulations that are initially required to replace the previous regulations of the Environmental Protection Act:
- Well Construction Regulations
- Water Supply and Wastewater Treatment Regulations
- Water Withdrawal Regulations
The Water Act provides scope and direction for water management, whereas individual regulations lay out how government will fulfill the goals of the Water Act.
The Water Act identifies government’s leadership role in managing and protecting water. It recognizes water as a resource for the “common good”, prioritizes human and ecological wellbeing and brings more transparency and accountability to the management of water.