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Threats to Sources of Drinking Water and Aquatic Ecosystem Health in Canada

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Cover of the Threats to sources of drinking water and aquatic ecosystem health in Canada reportIn January 2001, the National Water Research Institute organized a workshop in Toronto to discuss water quality related threats to sources of drinking water and aquatic ecosystem health.

This workshop resulted in the report, Threats to Sources of Drinking Water and Aquatic Ecosystem Health in Canada.

For more information on the Threats to Sources of Drinking Water and Aquatic Ecosystem Health in Canada report or other National Water Research Institute publications and programs, please email the Science & Technology Liaison Branch at S&TLiaison@ec.gc.ca

Foreword

Scientists and managers at the National Water Research Institute identified a list of 13 water quality related threats to sources of drinking water and aquatic ecosystem health. Four of the threats: nutrients, acidification, endocrine disrupting substances (EDS) and genetically modified organisms (GMOs) were recently addressed with broad participation through workshops. The remaining nine threats were pathogens; algal toxins; pesticides; long-range atmospherically transported pollutants; municipal wastewater effluents; industrial wastewater discharges; urban runoff; solid waste management practices; and water quantity changes affecting water quality due to climate change, diversions and extreme events. To address these remaining nine threats, a Workshop was organized and facilitated by the National Water Research Institute. There were 45 participants from Environment Canada and a number of other organizations. Teams were identified for each threat and charged with preparing short draft reports on the Current Status, Trends, and Knowledge and Program Needs of each threat in Canada. Some of the threats are groupings of similar contaminants, for example pesticides, while others are sources of a mixture of contaminants, for example municipal wastewater effluents. Because of this, there is some overlap between several of the identified threats, and there was considerable interaction between the teams. Subsequent to the workshop, two additional threats were identified, teams assembled and draft reports produced. These threats were aquatic ecosystem impacts of agricultural and forestry practices and naturally occurring contaminants. The Executive Summary consists of abbreviated statements on each Threat. The intent is to give a flavour of the Current Status, Trends, Knowledge and Program Needs for each threat. This is followed by the 15 reports themselves.

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