Letter to the Editor

OMYA should have to pay for study of Tay watershed

Douglas Overhill
The Ottawa Citizen
Tuesday, January 07, 2003

Re: Critics of OMYA's request for water should cite facts, Dec. 11.

Letter-writer Wayne Steele suggests that decisions on OMYA's water demands be left to the experts, or experts representing all residents along the Tay River near Perth.

The average flow in the Tay is not well documented, and since the life of a mine can be 30 years or more, flow records for a similar length of time should be examined. Such records do not exist. We do know that destruction of the natural habitat has caused excessive spring flows that occasionally caused flooding, and summer flows are extremely low. Furthermore, to judge from coliform counts above Perth, the Tay River above Perth is already polluted. Consequently, any water taken from the Tay, however small, will increase deterioration of an already marginal water quality.

A hydrological study of the Tay watershed is imperative. It is possible that storage of the excess water in the spring with release in the summer months would benefit everyone, even to offering OMYA more water than they currently request.

Why should the people along the Tay be expected to pay for such a study? OMYA is making the request for more water, so OMYA should be prepared to find a solution beneficial to all.

As OMYA wishes to use our common natural heritage, it is up to the company to find the solution that accommodates all. OMYA has the money and will profit from this so they should undertake the steps and modifications that are required.

Douglas Overhill,