CBC News has obtained an eight-page document on high capacity irrigation wells from the provincial environment department through an access-to-information request.

Janice Sherry

Environment Minister Janice Sherry has said she does not need to release the information provided to her by the advisory council. (CBC)

Most of the document is background information on water and soil management, but key parts of the document have been withheld by the department.

The document states the province's Environmental Advisory Council was asked to make recommendations on the development of high capacity wells for agriculture. The province has had a moratorium on the irrigation wells since 2001.

All comments from the advisory council were removed from the copy provided to CBC News. Also removed were draft policies on irrigation wells which the document says are supported by government.

The province says it's holding back the information under a section of the Freedom of Information Act which allows government to withhold advice to officials. CBC News is appealing the decision.

The province is being lobbied by industry to lift the 13-year-old moratorium on high-capacity irrigation wells. The province has not yet made a decision on the issue.

For mobile device users: See the high-capacity wells advice document here


  • Due to a technical error, this story previously had a partial copy of the document attached.
    Aug 14, 2014 1:23 PM AT