The safety and purity of the water we drink depends on restricting how the land surrounding the City’s water supply is used. The City has historically required that this land be left unused in its natural state. A recent court decision treated this as an expropriation and ordered the City to buy out the landowners.
The City can’t really afford to buy out everyone. We either have to reconsider our requirements or get provincial support—or both. The City is currently restricting the use of land that is downstream from our current water supply, and it’s important to ask whether that’s necessary.
Water waste has to be part of the conversation about our water supply. A significant amount of our water supply is wasted by faulty plumbing, for example. Portugal Cove has recently introduced selective metering to help address this issue.
Water supply management will be a major issue for the next Council. I will prioritize the issue, to consider every side carefully, and seek expert guidance.