February 2, 2004

Bennery Lake watershed designated for protection under Nova Scotia law

HALIFAX, NS-Halifax Regional Municipality's (HRM) Bennery Lake watershed will be designated as a protected water area under Nova Scotia's Environment Act. The decision, announced recently by Environment and Labour Minister Kerry Morash, was based on a recommendation from an advisory committee representing HRM and the departments of Environment and Labour and of Natural Resources, in consultation with the community and local landowners. The designation establishes the regulations that will govern activity in the area, including construction of roads, forestry management and recreational activities. Although there are no households drawing water from this source, the treated water supply serves businesses in Aerotech Park, the Halifax International Airport and the adjacent commercial area. HRM's existing water filtration plant, which meets Canadian drinking water standards, was commissioned in 1988. However, Bennery Lake had been a source of potable water for the Halifax International Airport since the 1960s. Nova Scotia's drinking water strategy promotes the protection of watershed areas as the first step in a multiple-barrier approach to protecting drinking water. It is one of the most cost-effective steps because it can reduce or eliminate expensive treatment options. The Bennery Lake watershed designation is the second since the strategy was released more than a year ago.
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