Guernsey

Sark politician calls for restrictions on new boreholes

Conseiller Sandra Williams
Image caption Conseiller Williams said she wanted to see restrictions on the location and depth of boreholes

A Sark politician has called for restrictions on the sinking of boreholes in the island.

Conseiller Sandra Williams said an increase in horticultural activity had led to more holes being dug, affecting Sark's natural underground reservoir.

"There are a lot of local boreholes that are drying up," she said. "There needs to be more involvement with the law officers and with committees."

There is no law in Sark to prevent anyone adding to the 167 boreholes.

Conseiller Williams said she wanted Chief Pleas to put in place a system whereby applications would have to be made.

Consideration, she said, could then be given to "where we're going to put them, how they're going to be used and how deep they're going to be".

Sark resident William Raymond said he had noticed a sharp drop in the island's aquifer.

"Eight years ago, we sank a borehole 182ft (55m) and there was plenty of water there," he said.

"This winter, after all the rain and snow that we've had, quite suddenly it dried up.

"Whereas before it would pump for an hour and a half or more, now it will only pump for 45 seconds."

It is expected that draft legislation on the issue will be presented to Chief Pleas in July.

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