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Lake Major Watershed Protected Water Area Regulation Engagement

We are engaging with members of the communities in and around this protected water area

In 2021, the Lake Major Watershed Advisory Board (Board) was approached about inconsistencies in the Lake Major Watershed Protected Water Area regulations (regulations) specific to the provincially designated Lake Major Watershed Protected Water Area (PWA).

Having reviewed the regulations, the Board agreed with these concerns and formally recommended that Halifax Water request the province consider amendments to the regulations.

As a result of the Board’s recommendation, Halifax Water met with the Department of Environment and Climate Change in early 2022 to discuss the public consultation process.

With support from the Board and the Province, Halifax Water will host public engagement sessions to help inform and seek input on potential amendments to these regulations.

Current Status

Halifax Water has taken the comments from the first round of feedback sessions and developed draft changes to the regulations. This draft has been made available to the Lake Major Watershed Advisory Board (LMWAB) for review.

Once the feedback from the LMWAB has been incorporated into the proposed regulation updates, they will be posted on this webpage for public review.

Background

Halifax Water is responsible for managing the Protected Water Areas that act as primary water supplies for the Halifax Regional Municipality. The utility is directed to enforce the Protected Water Area regulations by the Province of Nova Scotia, which is ultimately responsible for approving any changes or amendments to the PWA regulations.

Through the Lake Major PWA regulations, the Lake Major Watershed Advisory Board (Board), comprised of stakeholders and community representatives, was established to advise the Minister and the Water Works Operator on managing the Lake Major watershed. You can find the Board’s terms of reference here.

Public Engagement Sessions

To support the Province’s request for public input, Halifax Water hosted public engagement sessions in September and October 2022 at the East Preston Rec Centre, Lake Echo Community Rec Centre, North Preston Community Centre, Fairbanks Centre, Woodlawn United Church, and online.

 

 

These informal walk-in sessions included a number of information boards, allowing community members to walk through and learn more about the designated Lake Major Watershed Protected Water Area and the current regulations and speak with representatives from Halifax Water if they have any questions.

There is no formal presentation - attendees are welcome to drop in at any point during these sessions, to speak with representatives and submit their comments and feedback in writing. 

Inconsistencies with Existing Regulations

Following is a list of watershed-related activities, how these are currently regulated, and the inconsistencies that need to be addressed. We encourage all landowners to review this list carefully.

 

Activity

Existing Protected Water Area (PWA) Regulations 

Inconsistencies with the Lake Major PWA Regulations that need to be addressed

Boating

Boats permitted up to 9.9 hp on all Lake Major PWA watercourses except for Long Lake where boating is not permitted.

Restricting boating on specific lakes creates confusion for the public and creates enforcement issues for Halifax Water.

Fishing

Fishing is permitted within the Lake Major watershed except within 100 m of Lake Major Intake. Fishing is also permitted on Long Lake, however, only from the shoreline.

Restricting fishing on specific areas of some lakes and not others creates confusion for the public and creates enforcement issues for Halifax Water.

Swimming

Swimming is permitted in Lake Major PWA except within 100 m of the intake; and is not permitted in Long Lake.

Restricting swimming on specific areas of some lakes and not others creates confusion for the public and creates enforcement issues for Halifax Water.

ATV/Motocross & Other Off-Road Vehicles

Recreational vehicles are not permitted on, or over, Long Lake or Lake Major.

Omission of off-highway vehicle use on land within the PWA has created confusion for the public and an enforcement gap for Halifax Water.

Pets

Not included in the current PWA Regulations.

Omission of restrictions related to pet activities within the PWA, has created confusion for the public and an enforcement gap for Halifax Water.

Water Withdrawal

Not included in the current PWA Regulations.

Omission of restrictions related to water withdrawal activities within the PWA has created confusion for the public and an enforcement gap for Halifax Water.

Watercourse & Wetland Setbacks/Buffers

Not included in the current PWA Regulations.

Setbacks and buffers controlled by HRM (development) and the province (forestry) are not articulated in the PWA Regulations.

Omission of restrictions related to watercourse setbacks and buffers within the PWA has created confusion for the public and an enforcement gap for Halifax Water.

Docks & Wharfs

Not included in the current PWA Regulations.

Omission of restrictions related to docks and wharfs within the PWA has created confusion for the public and an enforcement gap for Halifax Water.

Boat Launch

Not included in the current PWA Regulations.

Omission of restrictions related to boat launches within the PWA, has created confusion for the public and an enforcement gap for Halifax Water.

 

How to Provide Feedback

We welcome any comments or feedback you have at our public engagement sessions or by responding in writing using the form on this webpage by November 18, 2022.

Once all comments are gathered, recommendations on any amendments to the regulations will be made available to the public via the Halifax Water website. Halifax Water intends to submit these recommendations to the Province of Nova Scotia in early 2023.