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Water Strategy on Target

first_imgNova Scotia’s Drinking Water Strategy is one year old and is ontrack, on target and on budget, says Environment and LabourMinister Kerry Morash. “Municipalities, individuals and government have been doing agreat job of working together to implement the strategy andensure Nova Scotians have clean, safe drinking water,” said Mr.Morash. The minister is attending the annual meeting of the Unionof Nova Scotia Municipalities and discussed the water strategy ina panel presentation today, Oct. 17. The Drinking Water Strategy is based on the universallyrecognized multiple-barrier approach to managing water systems.The multiple-barrier approach calls for a series of safeguardsalong the water supply route to protect water resources. Thethree lines of defence are:– Keep clean water clean – protecting the source.– Make it safe – treatment to remove impurities.– Prove it’s safe – ongoing water monitoring and testing. The key elements of the Drinking Water Strategy are to clarifyroles and responsibilities for all stakeholders, enhance themultiple-barrier approach to water management and create aninter-departmental drinking water management committee to manageand implement the strategy. The province has accomplished much since the Drinking WaterStrategy was released in Antigonish in October 2002. It has setup a system of regular audits of all municipal water systems.About 1,800 privately owned public water supplies are registeredwith the department. It has established a stakeholder committeewith the Municipal Public Works Association of Nova Scotia toimprove information sharing and consultation with municipalgovernment on issues related to water. A key first-year goal for the strategy is completing assessmentsof municipal water treatment facilities to verify that systemsmeet current environmental standards. More than $200,000 hasalready been provided through Service Nova Scotia and MunicipalRelations to municipalities to help them complete theassessments. Municipalities that haven’t yet applied areencouraged to do so before Dec. 31, to ensure they can still meettheir assessment deadline. “Municipal supplies in Nova Scotia are in great shape, but wealways need to keep improving our systems. All municipalitieshave put a great deal of time, effort, and resources intoaddressing this important issue,” said Mr. Morash. The inter-departmental committee will review and update thestrategy as issues are resolved and new issues emerge. Thecommittee will also identify the next steps needed to effectivelymanage all water resources in Nova Scotia, including availabilityof water for agriculture and water resource stewardship programs.Three working groups are currently studying nutrient managementand water quality protection, source water protection and smallwater systems. A copy of the provincial Drinking Water Strategy is available onthe Environment and Labour Web site at www.gov.ns.ca/enla/water .last_img read more