Editor: Let’s make informed, collective decisions today instead of making apologies and restitutions tomorrow. We live in an age of global water crisis. Islanders currently enjoy an adequate supply of fresh water, but it is demonstrably threatened during extended dry seasons. We must be certain that our water supply — and the public safety and environmental health that depend upon it — are not further endangered by high-capacity groundwater exploitation. We live on an island, and islands have finite, isolated water resources. We call on our leaders to extend the high-capacity well moratorium and to create an appropriately supported workgroup of experts including scientists, watershed managers, provincial regulators, agricultural organizations, and family farmers.
We must pragmatically examine the threats and develop safeguards, including monitoring protocols. Assessment, prevention, response, and recovery are four key elements we must consider in responsible public protection and watershed management. Additionally, a clear mechanism for compensation and liability when harm is done is a duty of law. Let us create a formal dialog that centres on independent, unbiased, factual information that results in fair, safe, and environmentally sound provincial policy and law. We must make certain that long-term public/environmental welfare will not be sacrificed for short-term, commercial-scale profits arising from unsustainable groundwater extraction.
(on behalf of the Western Branch of the P.E.I. Watershed Alliance)