Fast track water conservation, P.E.I. urged
Two years is too long to give the city of Charlottetown to reduce its consumption of water on the Winter River, says a man who lives near the city's water supply.
The P.E.I. government has changed the rules for how much water municipalities can draw from rivers and streams, to protect aquatic habitat. But the province is giving Charlottetown until 2015 to comply.
John te Raa argues the city is drawing 30 per cent more water from the Brackley River arm of the Winter River than the province's new water-use law allows, and two years is too long for the local environment to wait.
"The Winter River watershed is in trouble now," said te Raa.
"Us living on the Winter River, we don't want them to take any more water from our river. I suspect the Brackley will go dry again."
Last year, the Brackley branch of the Winter River ran dry in July. Environment Canada is predicting another drier than average summer.
Environment Minister Janice Sherry said Charlottetown needs to bring a new supply of water from Miltonvale water on-line. Sherry told CBC News she believes a 2015 deadline is fair.
"We have to be reasonable. It's not meant to be punitive," said Sherry.
"We're looking at solving the issue, and making it efficient into the future, that it has to be a reasonable request, and doable."
There is still no guarantee the Miltonvale wells will be operational come 2015. The province is waiting for money from Ottawa and until then can't commit its share of the $16.5 million Miltonvale project.
In the meantime, Te Raa is hoping DFO steps in and orders stricter water use on the Winter River.