Field

Part 1: Water and Wetlands

Question 1: What is a water approval?

Answer:

The Nova Scotia Environment Act (section 103) gives the provincial government the power to regulate watercourses (which includes groundwater) and the power to supervise the use of all other water resources (section 105) in the province.

The Environment Act (section 2) defines ‘watercourse’ as

(i) the bed and shore of every river, stream, lake, creek, pond, spring, lagoon or other natural body of water, and the water therein, within the jurisdiction of the province, whether it contains water or not,

and

(ii) all ground water.

The definition of watercourse includes groundwater and any natural body of water, whether it contains water or not. For example, a watercourse may completely dry out in the summer and still be a ‘watercourse’ within the meaning of the Environment Act.

The reference to ‘natural body of water’ indicates that ditches and other artificial holding areas for water are not included in the definition of watercourse. Ponds are included in the definition of watercourse but NSE does not require an approval to dig a pond unless the pond links to a watercourse is in-line with a watercourse.

The Environment Act (section 2) defines ‘water resource’ as all fresh and marine water comprising all surface water, groundwater and coastal water. There is overlap between the definition of ‘watercourse’ and ‘water resource’ the intent is to ensure that the provincial government has the authority to regulate activities that affect all water, including brackish and tidal water.

The primary means that the provincial government (through Nova Scotia Environment) regulates and protects water in Nova Scotia is by requiring approvals for activities that may affect water. The activities that require an approval are listed in the Activities Designation Regulations.

Under the Activities Designation Regulations, a person must obtain an approval to do any of the following:

• Withdraw or divert more than 23 000 L (5000 gal) of water per day from a source of surface water (including a pond) or groundwater (see Question 3);
• Construct or maintain a dam;
• Store water in amounts of 25 000 m3 or more (see Question 3);
• Construct or maintain a culvert (see Question 5);
• Construct or maintain a bridge (see Question 6);
• Construct or maintain a causeway;
• Construct or maintain a wharf;
• Construct or maintain any in-stream structure;
• Remove material from a surface watercourse (see below);
• Divert a watercourse from its natural channel;
• Install fishing equipment or similar structure in a watercourse;
• Dredge or modify a surface watercourse;
• Install or maintain a pipeline, cable or other equipment in a surface watercourse (see below);
• Place rock or other erosion protection material in a surface watercourse;
• Alter a wetland (see Question 8).
• Alter a surface watercourse or its flow (see Question 5);

Remove material from a surface watercourse

• Removing a beaver dam from a surface watercourse does not trigger the approval requirement.
• Advise from NSE should be sought before removing a foreign object (i.e. abandoned vehicle, appliance, etc) from a watercourse, particularly if the object is embedded in the watercourse.

Install or maintain a pipeline, cable or other equipment in a surface watercourse

• Installing irrigation equipment in a surface watercourse may not trigger the approval requirement; however, withdrawing greater than 23 000 litres per day from the watercourse does trigger the approval requirement and the installation of the irrigation equipment is addressed in the water withdrawal approval.

The Activities Designation Regulations specifically state that the following activities do not require an approval:

• A non-recurring use of water from the same watercourse for less than 2 weeks (annually);
• A continuous use of water less than 23 000 L per day;
• Use of seawater;
• Use of brackish water from an intertidal zone of a river estuary;
• Maintenance of lands and structures incorporated by marsh bodies under the Marshland Reclamation Act.

For more information:

Reference Section:
Environment Act page 8

For information on how to apply for a water approval, see Question 2.

Question 2: How do I apply for a water approval?

Answer:

Question 1 provides general information on water approvals. Questions 3-8 provide information on specific water approvals. If, after reviewing this information, you do not know whether you require an approval for your proposed activity, you should consult your agricultural resource coordinator http://gov.ns.ca/agri/contactus/reps/arcs.shtml or the regional office of Nova Scotia Environment (NSE) in your area http://www.gov.ns.ca/nse/offices/emcoffices.asp.

NSE provides approval application forms for water approvals. Website information for the application forms can be found below. The application must be completed, signed and returned to your regional or district office of the NSE. The application must be complete and correct and there should be enough information contained in the application to enable an NSE inspector to locate the site where the activity will take place. The NSE will not process an incomplete application.

The Approvals Procedure Regulations provide detailed information on what must be contained in the application. Once a completed application has been received, the NSE will provide a written decision within 60 days or will notify the applicant, in writing within 10 days, to let them know that there will be a delay. If the activity is approved the NSE will issue an approval.

If the NSE refuses to grant an approval, the activity cannot be undertaken. Undertaking an activity that requires an approval without first receiving the approval is an offence under the Environment Act. The NSE inspectors have a no tolerance policy toward activities undertaken without an approval. In most cases, the NSE inspector will issue a directive requiring the area to be returned to its original state. For example, if a culvert is installed without an approval the NSE may require that the culvert be removed. Failure to follow the direction may result in a charge for the offence. The punishment for this offence may be a fine of up to 1 million dollars, imprisonment for a period of not more than two years, or both a fine and imprisonment.

For more information:

On-line Resources

Water Approval – Watercourse Alteration
http://www.gov.ns.ca/snsmr/paal/nse/paal181.asp

Water Approval – Water Allocation
http://www.gov.ns.ca/nse/water/withdrawalApproval.asp
http://www.gov.ns.ca/snsmr/paal/nse/paal182.asp

Wetland Alteration Approval
http://www.gov.ns.ca/snsmr/paal/nse/paal586.asp

Guide to Surface Water Withdrawal Approvals (May 7, 2004)
http://www.gov.ns.ca/nse/water/docs/guideToSurfaceWaterWithdrawalApprova…

Guide to Groundwater Withdrawal Approvals (May 7, 2004)
http://www.gov.ns.ca/nse/water/docs/guideToGroundwaterWithdrawalApproval…

Reference Section:
Environment Act page 8
Activities Designation Regulations page 13

Question 3: If I have a water approval from the province, do I have to obtain an approval from the federal government as well?

Answer:

The federal Fisheries Act provides the federal government with the power to protect fish and fish habitat. In circumstances where the water-related activity has the potential to harm fish or fish habitat, you may have to obtain permission from the federal government even if you already have a provincial water approval.

The most common example is when the activity is going to affect a lake, river, stream, brook, pond, or any other body of water that fish frequent. For example, the installation of a culvert, bridge, wharf, pipes, etc., in a watercourse may damage fish or fish habitat. It is not necessary for fish to be present in the water at the time you wish to undertake the activity as long as fish frequent the water from time to time. If it is not clear whether fish frequent the water it will be up to the person seeking to affect the water body to demonstrate that fish are never there.

In Nova Scotia, the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) Habitat Management Program is responsible for the application of the habitat provisions of the Fisheries Act for all marine and freshwater environments. A description of each project that may impact fish or fish habitat must be sent to the Habitat Protection and Sustainable Development (HPSD) Division of DFO.

In order to comply with the Fisheries Act, an authorization from DFO is required for any activity that destroys fish or obstructs or alters a watercourse or otherwise impacts fish habitat. Some examples of activities that may harm fish or fish habitat include:

• Bridge Construction and Maintenance
• Culvert Construction and Maintenance
• Dock Construction and Maintenance
• Pond Construction (if connected to a waterway)
• Maintenance or Removal of Riparian Vegetation

Nova Scotia Environment (NSE) and DFO maintain a Memorandum of Understanding that allows a one-window approach to water approvals for proponents wishing to do work in or around the water. The NSE forwards applications for water approvals that may impact fish habitat to DFO. DFO reviews all applications forwarded by the province and assesses the projects for potential impacts to fish or fish habitat. The assessment may include a review of the details of the project, pictures, baseline information on fish and habitat in the area and a site visit. The extent of the review will reflect the complexity of the project and its potential impacts. In some cases the Province may issue an approval before DFO has completed its review. This does not mean that DFO has no concerns with the project. The proponent should contact HPSD to ensure the activity does not require an authorization under the Fisheries Act.

When DFO reviews an application to authorize an impact to fish habitat they are guided by the principle of “no net loss” of fish habitat. If the project will result in unavoidable habitat losses, those losses must be balanced by restoring or creating new or enhanced fish habitat.

An unauthorized activity that adversely impacts fish or fish habitat may be a violation of the Fisheries Act and may result in a fine of up to $1 000 000.00 and imprisonment for up to 3 years. It is important to remember that an area may be considered fish habitat even if there are no fish in the area at the time the activity takes place as long as fish frequent the area at some point in time.

For more information:

On-line Resources:
DFO Working in and Around Water
http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/pnw-ppe/index-eng.html

Reference Section:
Fisheries Act page 4

Question 4: Do I need an approval to take water from a surface water source (i.e. lake, pond) or a groundwater source (i.e. well) to water livestock or irrigate my crops? Do I need an approval to store water on my farm?

Answer:

You will require an approval from NSE if you are taking greater than 23 000 litres (5000 gallons) of water from a surface or groundwater source, in one day.

The Nova Scotia Environment Act gives the provincial government the power to regulate the amount of water taken for any purpose. The Environment Act does not prohibit the withdrawal of water, but theActivities Designation Regulations made under the Environment Act require an approval to withdraw more than 23 000 L (5000 gal) of water per day. For example, if your farm operation withdrew 12 gallons per minute for 8 hours per day from one source of water the approval requirement would be triggered.

It should be noted that an approval is required to withdraw more than 23 000 L of water per day from a source of water. If you withdraw 22 000 L of water per day an approval is not required. If you withdraw 10 000 L of water per day from a groundwater source and 15 000 L from a surface water source, an approval is not required.

If you have more than one groundwater well on your property and the total water withdrawn from all wells is greater than 23 000 L you may require an approval. You should consult your local NSE regional or district office for more information.

An approval is not required to withdraw water if the withdrawal is non-recurring and lasts for less than 2 weeks (annually). This exception ensures that water is available without an approval for emergency and unforeseen circumstances.

The Activities Designation Regulations also require an approval from NSE to store water if you wish to store 25 000 m3or more (in one area, i.e. pond), for any purpose.

NSE inspectors have the authority under the Environment Act to inspect your farm if they have reasonable grounds to believe that you require an approval for the withdrawal or storage of water. It is an offence under the Act to carry on an activity requiring an approval without the approval in place. If you are not sure whether you require a water withdrawal or water storage approval, you can contact your NSE regional office for assistance. Contact information for each region can be found at http://www.gov.ns.ca/nse/offices/emcoffices.asp. You may also wish to contact the regional agricultural resource coordinator http://gov.ns.ca/agri/contactus/reps/arcs.shtml.

For more information:

On-line Resources:

Government of Alberta, Agriculture and Rural Development
Farm Water Supply

http://www1.agric.gov.ab.ca/$department/deptdocs.nsf/all/agdex1349


Reference Section:

History of Riparian Rights page 3
Environment Act, section 3 page 8
Activities Designation Regulations, section 5 page 13

Question 5: Do I need an approval to dig a ditch or a pond on my property?

Answer:

As described in Question one, the Nova Scotia Environment Act provides the provincial government with the authority to regulate water in the province. The definitions of ‘watercourse’ and ‘water resource’ are provided in Question 1.

Although the definition of ‘watercourse’ includes the word ‘pond’ it also refers to a ‘natural body of water’. Ditches and ponds are not specifically named in the list of activities that require an approval under the Activities Designation Regulations. However, where a ditch or pond alters the flow of a surface watercourse or affects a wetland an approval will be required.

For example, a ditch dug in the middle of a stream or one that results in the damming of a watercourse or alteration of a wetland will require an approval. Nova Scotia Environment does not require an approval for the construction of a pond that intercepts groundwater or collects surface water.

Ponds that are created to store water will require an approval if the pond holds 25 000 m3 or more of water (see Question 4). If the pond is used to withdraw water and 23 000 litres or more of water are withdrawn in one day, an approval is required (see Question 4).

Any activity that takes place in or near water frequented by fish may also require permission from the federal government (see Question 3).

For more information:

Reference Section:
History of Riparian Rights page 3
Environment Act, section 3 page 8
Activities Designation Regulations, section 5 page 13

Question 6: Do I need an approval to construct a culvert across a watercourse on my property?

Answer:

The Nova Scotia Environment Act and the Federal Fisheries Act apply to the construction of culverts.

An approval from the NSE will be required if:

• the culvert is to be constructed between October 1 and May 302 ;

or
• the culvert is 1.8 metres (6 feet) or more in diameter and 18 metres (60 feet) or more in length.

Although an approval is not required for culvert construction between June 1 and September 30, Nova Scotia Environment (NSE) must be notified before an installation takes place. The approval application form may be used to notify the NSE of a culvert installation between June 1 and September 30. The form must be completed, signed and forwarded to the NSE before construction of the culvert begins. Once the notification is sent there is no need to wait for comment or decision from the NSE. The work can begin immediately. When the work is completed a Completion of Work Form must be submitted to NSE.

For information on how to apply for a provincial approval, see Question 2.

For information on the requirements under the federal Fisheries Act, see Question 3.

For more information:

Reference Section:
History of Riparian Rights page 3
Fisheries Act, section 35 page 4
Environment Act, section 3 page 8
Activities Designation Regulations, section 5 page 13

2The federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans has determined that the period between October 1 and May 30 is the most sensitive time for fish and fish habitat.

Question 7: Do I need an approval to construct a bridge across a watercourse on my property?

Answer:

Under the Activities Designation Regulations, any activity that is designated requires an approval from Nova Scotia Environment (general information on water approvals can be found in Question 1).

The construction or maintenance of a bridge is a designated activity and requires an approval if:

  • (i) a portion of the structure of the bridge is in a watercourse,

or

  • (ii) use of equipment in the watercourse or 3 metres from the edge of the watercourse is required.

If the watercourse is frequented by fish the federal Fisheries Act may also apply (see Question 3)

For information on how to apply for a provincial approval, see Question 2.

For information on the requirements under the federal Fisheries Act, see Question 3.

Question 8: Do I need an approval to alter a wetland on my property?

Answer:

The Nova Scotia Environment Act regulates the alteration of wetlands. The Act defines wetland as,
…land commonly referred to as a marsh, swamp, fen or bog that either periodically or permanently has a water table at, near or above the land’s surface or that is saturated with water, and sustains aquatic processes as indicated by the presence of poorly drained soils, hydrophytic vegetation and biological activities adapted to wet conditions (section 2).

Generally, wetlands include land that is regularly covered or soaked with water for part or all of the year and has a presence of wet-adapted species. They are neither land nor water but transition zones that combine features of both.3

The Environmental Assessment Regulations require any undertaking that may disrupt two or more hectares of a wetland to be registered with Nova Scotia Environment.

The Activities Designation Regulations require an approval to alter any wetland, including a salt marsh.

The Environment Act and Regulations do not define “alteration” however, a definition is included in A Proponent’s Guide to Wetland Conservation – Draft for Consultation (September 2009).

Alterations – Actions that have the potential to negatively affect wetland function, services and habitat. Alterations may include, but are not limited to, filling, draining, flooding, excavating and road building in any wetland.

There is no guidance material specifically addressing farm-related activities and wetland alterations. Nova Scotia Environment (NSE) has indicated that fording a wetland with farm machinery, creating a crossing (i.e. road, driveway, bridge, etc) through a wetland, bringing abandoned agricultural land that is a wetland back into production or allowing livestock to graze in a wetland could result in a wetland alteration.

In July 2009 the government introduced the draft Nova Scotia Wetland Conservation Policy. The goal of the draft Policy is to prevent the net loss of wetland in Nova Scotia.

The draft Policy applies to all wetlands in Nova Scotia with certain exceptions. Following is a list of exceptions relevant to agriculture:

• Wetlands less than 100m2 in total area
• Former salt marshes designated under the Agricultural Marshland Conservation Act as agricultural land;
• Wetlands constructed specifically for the purpose of wastewater or stormwater treatment;
• Wetlands constructed on upland habitats not for the purpose of compensation;
• Wetlands that develop within constructed and maintained agricultural drainage ditches, as well as anyagricultural lands that are regularly saturated in spring with sheet water;
• Wetlands that develop from construction projects or other human activities that have taken place since January 1, 1990.

The Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture has prepared a response to the draft Policy. The current Policy together with the regulatory requirement to obtain an approval for all wetland alterations may create a number of challenges for farmers who farm or wish to farm in wet areas.

The process to apply for a wetland alteration approval is complicated. The “no net loss” policy means that the NSE will only grant approvals in limited circumstances and compensation for lost wetland will be required.

For more information:

On-line Resources:

Wetland Alteration Approval
http://www.gov.ns.ca/snsmr/paal/nse/paal586.asp

Wetlands and Coastal Habitat Program
http://www.ducks.ca/your-province/nova-scotia/programs-projects/

Nova Scotia Wetland Inventory
http://novascotia.ca/natr/wildlife/habitats/wetlands.asp

Nova Scotia Wetland Conservation Policy – Draft for Consultation
http://www.gov.ns.ca/nse/wetland/conservation.policy.asp

A Proponent’s Guide to Wetland Conservation – Draft for Consultation
http://www.gov.ns.ca/nse/wetland/conservation.policy.asp

Reference Section:
Environment Act, section 3(bg) page 8
Activities Designation Regulations, section 5(na) page 13
EGSPA, sections 2(e) and 4(1)(n) page 18

3Taken from a power point presentation by Kathleen Johnson, P.Eng., Regional Offices, Nova Scotia Environment

Question 9: Is it necessary to fence my livestock out of streams that run through my property?

Answer:

There is no federal or provincial law that states that livestock must be fenced out of watercourses. However, allowing livestock to wade into a watercourse may cause damage to fish habitat or result in the deposit of a substance that will adversely affect fish. The Fisheries Act prohibits damage to fish habitat and the deposit of deleterious substances into water frequented by fish.

Damage to fish habitat

An authorization from Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) Canada is required for any activity that results in the harmful alteration, disruption or destruction (HADD) of fish habitat. According to the DFO Policy for the Management of Fish Habitat, the long-term management objective is the overall ‘Net Gain’ of the productive capacity of Canada’s fish habitats. When an application to authorize a HADD to fish habitat is reviewed by DFO they are guided by the principle of “no net loss”. If the project will result in unavoidable habitat losses, those losses must be balanced by restored, newly created or enhanced habitat. If unacceptable losses of fish habitat cannot be prevented by these measures, the Policy calls for an authorization not to be issued. According to the Hierarchy of Preferences in the Policy it is preferable to mitigate any damage to fish habitat when possible before considering the issuance of an authorization. It is unlikely that DFO would issue an authorization to allow livestock to damage fish habitat when the damage could be mitigated by preventing access to the water body through fencing or alternate watering techniques. For more information see Question 3.

Deposit of a deleterious substance

Under the federal Fisheries Act, it is an offence to deposit or permit the deposit of any deleterious substance into water frequented by fish. A deleterious substance is any substance that when added to water would degrade or alter the quality of the water making it deleterious (harmful) to fish, fish habitat or the use of fish by humans. The Fisheries Act applies to all “Canadian Fisheries Waters”, which include all waters in the fishing zones of Canada, all waters in the territorial sea of Canada and all internal waters of Canada. The Fisheries Act also applies to any other water ‘frequented by fish.’ Fish are not required to be in the water at all times for the Act to apply.

Allowing livestock access to watercourses may result in the deposit of feces into the watercourse. Animal feces are a deleterious substance containing ammonia, nitrates and fecal coliform bacteria. The presence of fecal coliform bacteria may result in the closure of shellfish growing areas in the estuary, downstream of a watercourse that has been contaminated with fecal coliform bacteria. Further, livestock wading in or passing through a watercourse may stir up sediment in the watercourse resulting in adverse effects to fish and fish habitat. In cases where livestock do not have direct access to watercourses, but are near the watercourse, there is the potential for runoff from the land contaminating the watercourse with livestock feces.

Environment Canada administers the provision of the Fisheries Act that address deposit of a deleterious substance into water frequented by fish. Compliance with these provisions is mandatory. Cases involving the unintentional release of deleterious substances into water frequented by fish have resulted in fines averaging between $25 000 and $50 000.

To prevent violation of the Fisheries Act, Environment Canada has made some recommendations regarding the access of livestock to watercourses. It is important to recognize that these are suggestions only. These measures may not be adequate in all cases and it is the responsibility of the farmer to ensure they are complying with the law.

• Exclusion fencing placed to restrict movement of the livestock to outside 6 metres on both sides of a waterway.
• Properly constructed stream crossings that prohibit livestock from coming in direct contact with watercourses, and built in such a fashion that animal wastes do not reach the watercourse.
• Watering or feeding devices be located not less than 20 metres from the watercourse and designed in such a way that wastes will accumulate and be collected and removed to prevent leaching or runoff into watercourses.
• Site specific surface water control measures to prevent erosion and leaching of deleterious substances into waterways, such as buffer zones, vegetated filter strips, grassed waterways, etc.
• Locating of chemical and fuel storage and dispensing equipment as well as adequate containment in the event of a spill or leak to minimize the risk of spillage into waterways.

For more information:

On-line Resources:

DFO Policy for the Management of Fish Habitat
http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/oceans-habitat/habitat/policies-politique/manag…

Reference Section:
Fisheries Act page 4

Question 10: What is a water designation?

Answer:

Under the Environment Act, the Minister has the power to designate an area surrounding any source or future source of municipal or industrial water supply as a protected water area. A waterworks operator (i.e. municipal or town employee) makes a request to the Minister for a designation after the operator has provided opportunities for public consultation on the proposed designation. Once a protected water area designation is in place, the Minister may make regulations to control activities that could impair the quality of the water.

Once the Minister designates an area, the operator of the water works (municipal water utility) must ensure the area remains protected. This would include monitoring the water and enforcing the regulations.

Some examples of activities that may be restricted in a protected water area include:

• application of a pest control product;
• discharge of any substance that may cause an adverse effect to a watercourse, such as manure;
• any activity that might cause soil erosion resulting in sedimentation of a watercourse;
• fishing;
• establishing a dump, landfill or waste disposal site;
• open burning; and
• use of petroleum products.

These restrictions continue even where the owner of the land sells or transfers the land to another person. There are currently 25 water designations under the Environment Act.

The Environment Act also provides the Minister with the power to cancel all or part of a designation when requested by the operator of a water works. In April 2002, the Minister cancelled a portion of a designation of an area surrounding Snides Lake in Hants County.

Prior to the introduction of the Environment Act in 1995, protected water area designations were regulated by the Water Act. Under that Act, any person who felt their property was injuriously affected by the designation had a right to file a claim for compensation (injurious affection) against the operator of the water works. The Environment Act removed this right in 1995. The Water Act has been repealed (no longer in force) and all protected water area designation regulations have been moved to theEnvironment Act. The Environment Act specifically states that no claim for injurious affections lies against any person as a result of a designation of a protected water area.

Municipal governments also have the power to create water designations under the Municipal Government Act. A municipal council has the authority to create by-laws that designate lands owned by the municipality as protected water supply areas. If an area is designated as a protected water supply area, there are a number of restrictions that apply to activities in and around the designated area. For example, it is a violation of the Municipal Government Act to allow any matter that may impair the quality of the water for domestic purposes to escape on to the designated area, and in this respect is similar to designation under the Environment Act.

For more information:

On-line Resources:

Information on Designation of Protected Water Areas
http://www.gov.ns.ca/nse/water/protectedwaterarea.asp

A Guide to Recommended Agricultural Practices in Municipal Drinking Water Supply Areas
http://gov.ns.ca/nse/surface.water/surfacewater.protection.asp

The protected water area designations can be found in the list of regulations under the Environment Act
http://www.gov.ns.ca/just/regulations/rxaa-l.htm#env

Reference Section:
Environment Act, section 106 page 8
Municipal Government Act, section 180 page 28
Municipal Government Act, section 220(4)(o) page 28

Question 11: What should I do when faced with a municipal official seeking to establish a ‘test well’ on my property?

Answer:

A municipal official may wish to place a “test well” on your property in order to assess the potential groundwater sources that exist under your land. The municipal official may be testing the quality and/or the availability of water.

The Nova Scotia Environment Act vests all watercourses, including ground water in the provincial government. To that end, provincial government officials would have a right to come on to your property if they had a reasonable belief that activities on your property were adversely affecting groundwater. However, there is no provision in the Environment Act that appears to provide municipal officials with the right to enter private property to test groundwater sources, unless the source has been designated as a protected water area under the Environment Act.

The Municipal Government Act provides authority to any person designated by the Minister (which may include a municipal official) to enter and inspect any property in order to administer an order, land-use by-law, development agreement, regulation or statement of provincial interest. There is a statement of provincial interest on drinking water. It is not clear if this statement would provide municipal officials with the authority to test groundwater on properties that are not designated as water protected areas.

If a municipal official seeks your permission to place a test well on your property, you may refuse that permission. However, the official may return with an order under the Environment Act or the Municipal Government Act requiring you to allow the test to take place. If this is the case you should not attempt to obstruct the official from carrying out their duties. If you continue to be concerned you should contact your lawyer.

For more information:

Reference Section:
Environment Act, section 106 page 8
Municipal Government Act, section 180 page 28
Municipal Government Act, section 267 page 28

Question 12: What is the Water Resource Management Strategy?

Answer:

The Nova Scotia Environment Act, section 105 states that the Minister shall establish a water-resource management strategy for the Province. The Environmental Goals and Sustainable Prosperity Actincludes as one of the Provinces goals, the creation of a comprehensive water-resource management strategy by the year 2010. In March 2007, the Minister of Environment announced that his Department would take the lead on developing a water-resource management strategy over the next 3 years.

An Interdepartmental Water Management Committee oversees development of the water strategy. The Committee is chaired by the Deputy Minister of Environment. The following departments participate on the Committee: Agriculture, Energy, Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture, Health Promotion and Protection, Natural Resources, Economic Development, Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations, Transportation & Public Works, Tourism, Culture and Heritage.

The government released a discussion paper entitled, Towards a Water Resources Management Strategy for Nova Scotia and held public consultations between January 31, 2008 and June 1, 2008. The information gathered during the public consultation will be used to prepare a draft Water Resources Management Strategy.

The discussion paper noted that agriculture in the Annapolis Valley has experienced water shortages in four of the six summers between 1996 and 2002, and estimated that the need for water in the Valley will increase by 45 per cent in the next two decades. The discussion paper goes on to describe agriculture as one of several economic activities that can negatively affect aquatic ecosystems, through direct impacts as well as run-off from pesticides, fertilizers and manure.

The draft Strategy, anticipated in early 2010 will be followed by a second round of public consultations.

For more information:

On-line Resources:

Nova Scotia Water Resources Management Strategy http://www.gov.ns.ca/nse/water/WaterStrategyHow.asp

Reference Section:
Environment Act, section 105 page 8
EGSPA, section 4(1)(k) page 18