News release

French River Watershed Designated as Protected Water Area

The watershed that gives the people of Tatamagouche their drinking water is now protected provincially, further safeguarding their access to quality water.

Environment and Climate Change Minister Tim Halman designated the French River watershed as a protected water area on Monday, January 24. This means that regulations under the Environment Act will help to protect the water that people in the Village of Tatamagouche use in their homes, businesses and to support services in their community.

“I am pleased to designate the French River watershed as a protected water area, which will help meet the needs of the people of Tatamagouche, enhance their quality of life and support economic growth and prosperity,” said Minister Halman. “A reliable supply of quality drinking water is essential to maintaining the health of Nova Scotians, as well as community and environmental health. Our government is working with Nova Scotians and other levels of government to ensure everyone in our province has the support and services they need to build strong, sustainable, thriving communities.”

The protected water area regulations protect drinking water supplies by giving municipalities the authority to manage watersheds, including restricting or prohibiting activities that may impact water quality or quantity. After a watershed is designated as a protected water area, the utility is responsible for protecting the area and enforcing the regulations.

The Municipality of the County of Colchester owns and operates the Tatamagouche water utility.


The watershed provides water for the village of Tatamagouche. It’s important that we maintain the pristine water that the village is fortunate enough to have. I am pleased the government has taken into consideration the work that was done to protect the watershed and has designated it as a protected water area. Kudos need to go to the staff of the municipality for the work that went into getting here and to the community for standing up to be heard. I am over the moon. Michael Gregory, Councillor, Municipality of the County of Colchester and Chair, Tatamagouche Source Water Protection Committee

Quick Facts:

  • the French River watershed covers about 141 square kilometres along the Northumberland Strait
  • the watershed’s headwaters begin in the Cobequid Mountains and drain into Tatamagouche Bay
  • the Municipality of the County of Colchester approved protecting the French River watershed in January 2020
  • the Tatamagouche Source Water Protection Committee developed regulations that were sent to the Department with a request for designation
  • there are 24 designated protected water areas in Nova Scotia