Case Study: An examination of agricultural surface water use for crop irrigation in Kings County, Nova Scotia
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In 2007, the primary body for managing and protecting our water resources, Nova Scotia Environment (NSE), was directed to develop a comprehensive water resource management strategy for the province. This strategy acknowledges that water is directly related to sustainability, as well as to the health of humans and ecosystems. As such, the provincial water strategy will seek to answer questions regarding water quantity and allocation. Understanding how much water is available and the demands of this supply is crucial in determining a comprehensive management plan. One of the largest water use sectors in the Annapolis Valley is the agricultural industry and studies have indicated that within this community little is known regarding water use. This presents a problem, as an important element of effective water resource management is allocation. This case study examines agricultural surface water usage within Kings County, Nova Scotia in order to provide insight into the current monitoring and compliance challenges. The methods employed to achieve the objectives of the case study involved conducting semistructured, in person, one-on-one interviews with participants representing each group Specifically, the case study identifies and describes the challenges faced by farmers, NSE inspectors, and NSE policy makers in determining water usage; identifies and describes solutions for addressing these challenges; identifies recommendations for further action; and links the results of this research to its broader context which is the current development of a provincial water strategy.