The City of Charlottetown Water and Sewer Utility has completed a 10-point presentation to the Provincial Government for the new Water Act. The presentation, which will be followed by a written submission, calls for streamlined legislation that recognizes the City of Charlottetown as a priority user of groundwater on PEI and incorporates wellfield protection, resources to support water conservation efforts and rainwater harvesting technology, better regulations for stormwater management, and emphasis on watershed protection and management in urban and suburban parts of the province.
"The City of Charlottetown supports the creation of a Water Act that incorporates all relevant legislation into one document that will protect our ground and surface water for the benefit of the people and the natural environment of PEI," said Charlottetown Mayor Clifford Lee. "We are committed to sustainable development and to finding ways to improve how we operate to benefit the community and the environment … that is why a presentation was prepared for the Water Act panel which we will follow with a written submission that we are asking the panel to consider when developing the Act."
Councillor Edward Rice, Chair of the City’s Water and Sewer Utility Committee, made a presentation to the Water Act panel during the first session of consultation this week. He said the City is key stakeholder and should be valued as such in the Water Act.
"On any given day the City becomes host to a significant portion of the Island’s population. In addition to our population of 34,000, we provide essential services of fire protection, sanitary waste management and safe water for all islanders through health care facilities, seniors’ homes, the university, the college and, of course, every household and business in the Capital," said Councillor Rice. "The City faces numerous challenges in providing these services including increased demand due to population growth and urbanization, the effects of climate change on precipitation patterns, the strain of managing aging infrastructure with limited funds, and adapting and innovating continuously to ensure minimal environmental impact."
"The Water Act must mandate and provide provisions for wellfield protection and groundwater management for existing wellfields, recognizing the need for provisions and protection for the management of future wellfield sites as well," Rice continued. "It must provide regulations supporting both in order for there to be a continued safe and reliable supply of water for the people of Charlottetown and all of PEI."
The water for City of Charlottetown customers is extracted from thirteen wells in three wellfields located within the Winter River Watershed. This water source is shared with the residents of the watershed communities who draw on this water using private wells. Charlottetown and Winter River residents depend on this watershed for clean and adequate water supply. There are also many farms in this area that depend on adequate water for their crops, and Tracadie Bay is home to several aquaculture operations that require clean water with consistent water temperatures.
The City is in the process of developing five new wells and a second water supply. The Miltonvale Wellfield Development will help ease the strain on the Winter River Watershed. In addition, a groundwater management plan is being developed that will result in a more favourable balance between groundwater extraction rates and the catchment areas for each wellfield with the goal of reducing the impact on the stream flow regime of the Winter River.
For more information on the City’s wellfield project, Winter River Watershed, the City’s conservation efforts or other related programs such as the Residential Water Meter Program, visit: www.charlottetown.ca/waterutility.php
Please find attached below the 10-point presentation made by the City of Charlottetown Water and Sewer Utility for the Water Act panel. A written submission that expands on these points will be made to the panel at a later date.
City of Charlottetown