P.E.I's Environmental Advisory Council has issued seven recommendations it says should help shape Prince Edward Island's new Water Act.

The report comes as a result of a series of consultations across the Island over the past two years.

The council heard from Islanders on everything from how to protect groundwater to whether to lift the moratorium on high-capacity wells for agriculture.

In a news release, the council said the predominant tone of the presentations was one of concern for the quality and quantity of water resources in the province.

The council said it heard concerns about the siltation of rivers and streams, anoxic events in estuaries leading to shellfish closures and even the impact of new housing developments on the water supply.

Others felt high-capacity wells would have a negative impact on the water supply, according to the council.

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The report's recommendations include safeguarding and enhancing drinking water. (CBC)

7 suggestions for legislation

The report said any legislative or regulatory changes should do the following:

  • Conserve, protect and restore the health of aquatic and riparian ecosystems.
  • Safeguard and enhance drinking water.
  • Regulate water use in a manner that respects ecosystems as well as human needs.
  • Ensure water security through use efficiency and conservation practices.
  • Encourage and enforce land use management practices that protect water quality, the integrity and health of watersheds, associated watercourses, and the groundwater resource.
  • Allow for continuous adaptation to water management rules, as science advances, or natural conditions change.
  • Standardize, streamline and make transparent government decision-making.

Officials with the Department of Department of Communities, Land and Environment will use the report to draft the new Water Act.

The work will continue into the summer months. When the first draft is complete, government will take the legislation back out to public for more consultations before finalizing the Water Act.