A P.E.I. legislature committee is recommending the province retain its moratorium on new high-capacity irrigation wells for now.

Paula Biggar -custom

More time is needed for public input on the high capacity irrigation well issue, says Liberal MLA Paula Biggar. (Liberal Party of P.E.I.)

The potato industry was looking for a lifting of the ban, which has been in place since 2001.

The legislature's agriculture and environment committee has held two months of public hearings, and at last week's opening of the spring session of the legislature presented an interim report. It recommended no decision until there is more time for public input.

Committee chair Paula Biggar noted some groups were not able to make presentations due to storm cancellations.

The committee also recommended the introduction of a water act, an idea that pleased Green Party Leader Peter Bevan-Baker. Bevan-Baker said such an act would provide protection and direction on how the Island's water supply can be used.

"Before we add even more stresses on an already vulnerable water system we should look at what do we have here," he said.

"What are the vulnerabilities, how much water do we have, what do we need to do to protect that and make sure that we don't cause any problems long-term? So that's what a water act would do."

P.E.I. is the only province without legislation to manage its water supply. Bevan-Baker said Nova Scotia's law could provide an excellent blueprint for the Island.