Editor: Many science students learned a saying in university: if you want to hide your data, use percentages. The Environmental Update published in the Feb. 1 Guardian was a good example of this.
If 34 percent of precipitation goes into the ground and we are using two percent of that recharge, and 60 per cent of this water is used in residences and four percent is used for drinking, what is the volume used for drinking? It is mind-boggling!
I have read that the potato industry wants to irrigate 30,000 acres and that this could use up to one percent of the annual groundwater recharge. That would be close to 20 million cubic metres of water per year. The City of Charlottetown uses seven million cubic metres per year.
In his letter published Jan. 25, Potato Board Chair Gary Linkletter implied that the request for supplemental irrigation would have less impact than year-round water use by municipalities, specifically Charlottetown.
My question is: do Islanders want to allocate three cities worth of water to a few hundred people during the driest time of year? That would be three years of water supply for 34,500 people (the population of Charlottetown) given to a few hundred people every year. We know that Charlottetown's water supply, the Winter River watershed, runs dry in the summers now. Is this a pattern we'd like to see across the island?
Prince Edward Island's groundwater reserves are critical for the life of every inhabitant of this island. Let's do all that we can to make prudent decisions that will conserve and protect them for our use now and for that of future islanders.
Rosalyn Ridlington Abbott,