By Richard Bell
The lack of piped water in the core of Musquodoboit Harbour has been the chief obstacle to fulfilling the village’s potential as a Rural District Growth Center under HRM’s Regional Plan. (The Community Development Plan includes water as a priority.)
But in 1968, a summer graduate student working for the Nova Scotia Department of Mines drilled some test wells near the site of the Dale Bennett Memorial Baseball Field and discovered a large aquifer with sufficient flow and quality to supply businesses and homes along Highway 7 from the 107 down to the Musquodoboit Harbour Bridge.
That aquifer has been sitting there ever since.
Now the Old School Community Gathering Place has won a federal grant to build a proof-of-concept demonstration of the potential of this aquifer, thanks to a grant of $14,500 from the AgriSpirit Fund of the Canadian Farm Credit Council. The funds will be used to build a solar-powered pumping station that local residents can access for things like emergency well-priming during droughts, or just a cool drink on a hot day. The station will have a solar water pump, storage tank, solar filter, pumphouse, and a bench.
“We are so grateful to the Farm Credit Council for giving us the opportunity to demonstrate that clean water is available right in the heart of the village, said Karen Bradley, Co-Chair of the Board of the Old School. "Access to this aquifer has been a goal for the businesses and homes in the village core for decades. This project is the beginning of that access.”
Two of the capped wells from 1968 are visible on the left side of the dirt road leading to the ball field, right next to the parking lot for the Musquodoboit Trail.
Later this year, there will be a design contest for those in the community who wish to propose a welcoming structure and bench to house the pump. The winning designer will receive a small award.