Groundwater politics: the high-capacity wells debate
A debate over high-capacity wells erupts on Prince Edward Island
Rivers and streams are an integral part of the P.E.I. landscape. In some places they cut the Island almost in two.
The main source for most of the water in those rivers is groundwater, a reservoir of underground water that percolates up in springs and flows into stream beds. That same groundwater, tapped by wells, provides virtually all the water in the province used for drinking, washing, food processing, gardening, swimming pools and every other human use.
The P.E.I. Potato Board has asked the provincial government to lift a moratorium on high-capacity wells for irrigation in the province, prompting a spirited debate on all use of water in Prince Edward Island.
The province implemented a new water extraction permitting policy in January 2013, and this policy is at the centre of the debate.
Groups have lined up on both sides of the issue to make their cases before the legislature’s agriculture committee.
For mobile device users: Should P.E.I. lift the moratorium on high-capacity wells for irrigation?