Editor: Cavendish Farms president Robert Irving’s name and the pressure tactics he used before the MLA committee studying the moratorium on high capacity water wells for agricultural irrigation are in the media again. He stated if the moratorium was lifted but farmers didn’t irrigate using these wells that they could be denied a contract with Cavendish. Is it conceivable that his company would have their contracted farmers install wells with equipment supplied by his company and if they did not comply then no contract with the Irving’s? At plus $200,000 plus per well, his company would reap a fortune plus maintain control.
Water is one of Canada’s most valuable resources. According to an Environment Canada report, agriculture is the largest consumer of water in Canada. Water usage in agriculture is inefficient, returning less than 30 per cent back to the earth. Only three per cent of all water on earth is fresh of which two thirds of that is locked in glaciers and ice caps.
There are many reasons why our soils will no longer hold moisture. Poor farming practices stand out as a major reason. Digging deep furrows when plowing and using three crop rotation over two years instead of over three years as the law states are two issues where the practice should be amended and the law enforced before installing more high capacity wells.
Is water sustainable on this little Island? Since our ground water is a resource perhaps any new deep-water wells should be metered and a fee charged for every gallon used. They do this in the USA and other places. Since Robert Irving is so adamant about the use of deep-water wells by farmers and is using strong-armed tactics to sway the committee of MLAs, if the moratorium is lifted, then all bills for water usage on his contracted farms should be sent to him. Water is a resource and he should have to pay to use this resource.
Gary A O MacKay
Birch Hill, RR#1 Tyne Valley