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KAY WALL: Looking for help to conserve water in Spring Valley

A farmer irrigates his field in western Queens County in this Guardian file photo.
(Guardian File Photo)
A farmer irrigates his field in western Queens County in this Guardian file photo.(Guardian File Photo) - FILE

Building four more holding ponds; already drilled several wells within four-kilometre radius

BY KAY WALL

AND MARY COUSINS

GUEST OPINION

To Whom it May Concern:

It has come to our attention that Indian River Farms (Mary Jean Irving) is in the process of building four more holding ponds and has already drilled several wells within a four-kilometre radius in the Spring Valley area.

These ponds are used to irrigate potatoes to supply the Cavendish Farms plant in New Annan.

A year ago they built a very large holding pond and dug wells at the intersection of Highway 102 and 104 with no consultation with the residents nearby. The pumps ran continuously all summer - day and night as water was sent to irrigate various fields in the area. This pond borders on the highway, which has several homes nearby and a couple of businesses (greenhouses and concrete plant), which also use water.

Apparently the new ponds are to be larger than the one built in the fall of 2016, and one is close to it on Highway 104.

No one in the community was ever consulted or advised of these wells and ponds, nor was the Malpeque Bay Council of which Spring Valley is a member.

We, the residents, do not want or need more wells and holding ponds in our area. We need to conserve our water for all and for future generations to use.

Many trees have also been removed from this general area of Spring Valley and Indian River.

Studies show that planting more trees and hedges hold the moisture in the ground and help prevent wind erosion. We need to plant our crops in smaller fields - after all this is a small Province, an Island and receives a lot of wind.

We have been advised by a potato farmer that irrigated potatoes do not store well and that there is very little difference in yield between irrigated fields and non-irrigated fields.

Where do we turn for help to conserve our land, our trees and our water when our government won't protect us?


- Kay Wall is president and Mary Cousins is secretary, Spring Valley Women's Institute

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