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Planning for a Sustainable Future:
A Federal Sustainable Development Strategy for Canada
2013–2016

Sustainable Development Office
Environment Canada

November 2013


Theme II. Maintaining water quality and availability

The image of the letter W above a leaf represents Theme II: Maintaining Water Quality and Availability

Why it matters

The quality of water--drinking water as well as the water that supports aquatic ecosystems--is critically important to the health and wellbeing of Canadians and the environment. While water quality in Canada is generally good, challenges remain to maintain and improve it.

As noted in the 2012 Federal Sustainable Development Strategy (FSDS) Progress Report, some of Canada's key aquatic ecosystems remain under stress due to human activities--notably, in the Great Lakes, Lake Winnipeg, Lake Simcoe and the St. Lawrence River. Key issues for these ecosystems include eutrophication (excessive nutrients in the water leading to overgrowth of algae) as well as the introduction of harmful substances from urban areas and industrial activities, the degradation of wetlands, and lower than average water levels associated with climate change (Environment Canada, 2012).

When water quality in aquatic ecosystems is compromised, social and economic impacts can arise along with the environmental effects. Environmental problems affecting these areas can mean reduced capacity to support human activities. As a result, Canadians may have fewer opportunities to enjoy aquatic ecosystems and may face higher costs and restrictions on sources of drinking water, industrial and agricultural water uses, and harvesting fish and shellfish from these areas.

Drinking water quality is particularly important to human health. Contamination of drinking water sources by pathogenic organisms or chemical pollutants can cause illness. In the case of potential microbiological contamination, this may result in boil water advisories to protect human health.

In addition to its importance to supporting aquatic life, water availability is a necessary condition for a range of economic activities. While Canada has abundant freshwater resources overall, water is not always readily available when and where it is most needed. Climate change may exacerbate current water availability challenges in the future--for example, by decreasing the availability of drinking water in the prairie region, while increasing the probability of flooding in other areas, such as the Great Lakes Basin (Environment Canada, 2011).

Sectors that rely on significant withdrawals of water in Canada include thermal power generation (the largest user of water), manufacturing, agriculture and municipalities. For most of these sectors, a majority of the water withdrawn is eventually discharged back to its original source. Agricultural activities such as crop irrigation, however, use water without enabling it to be discharged, making agriculture Canada's largest consumer of water (Environment Canada, 2013). Improving water management by encouraging conservation and investing in innovation to improve water efficiency can benefit the environment as well as the economy.

As compared to the first cycle, the second cycle of the FSDS better reflects the significance of water to Canada's economy and communities, as well as the impact of human activity on water and aquatic ecosystems. Targets on maintaining water quality and availability relate to restoring key aquatic ecosystems that provide social and economic benefits and continue to be under pressure from human activities; preventing and managing the impact of economic activity on water quality; and preventing negative health impacts that can result from compromised water quality.

What others are doing

Responsibility for water management in Canada is shared among federal, provincial and territorial, municipal, and in some instances Aboriginal governments. Provincial and territorial governments, in addition to the federal government, have many legal instruments for controlling water pollution and for protecting drinking water quality. In addition to managing the water resources within their boundaries and undertaking their own initiatives on water, provinces--along with First Nations and municipalities--play an important role in ensuring their compliance with Canada's new Wastewater System Effluent Regulations and working with the Government of Canada to support the recovery of key aquatic ecosystems. Non-governmental organizations and community groups work with the Government of Canada and provincial governments to restore key aquatic ecosystems by providing local knowledge and reducing pollution (for example, in Great Lakes Areas of Concern). A number of economic sectors also contribute to improving water quality and availability. For instance, the agricultural sector can mitigate its effects on water through the use of beneficial management practices such as appropriate nutrient management, integrated pest management (to reduce the need for chemical pesticides), and measures to control runoff and erosion. The agricultural sector can have a significant impact on the health of riparian areas, strips of moisture-loving vegetation growing along the edges of natural water bodies. Agricultural producers can promote healthy riparian areas through measures such as maintaining permanent vegetation, either natural or seeded forage, near water bodies, reducing the intensity of grazing in riparian areas during vulnerable periods in the spring and fall, ensuring appropriate stocking rates, and altering livestock distribution with portable fences and watering systems. Individual citizens can also limit their impact on water quality and availability by limiting household use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, installing water-saving appliances such as high-efficiency dishwashers, washing machines, toilets and shower heads, and protecting riparian zones on their property.

What the federal government is doing

Figure 9 - Theme II: Maintaining water quality and availability

This figure shows the structure of Theme 2, which includes one goal and twelve targets (long description is located below the image).Target 3.12: Water Resource ManagementTarget 3.11: Wastewater and Industrial EffluentTarget 3.10: Agri-Environmental Performance MetricsTarget 3.9: Marine Pollution - Disposal at SeaTarget 3.8: Marine Pollution – Releases of Harmful PollutantsTargets to Prevent Pollution and Manage WasteTarget 3.7: Lake Winnipeg BasinTarget 3.6: Lake Simcoe and South-eastern Georgian BayTarget 3.5: St. Lawrence RiverTarget 3.4: Great LakesTarget 3.3: Great Lakes - Canadian Areas of ConcernTargets to Protect and Restore Aquatic EcosystemsTarget 3.2: Drinking Water QualityTarget 3.1: On-Reserve First Nations Water and Wastewater SystemsTargets to Support Safe and Secure Water SystemsGoal 3: Water Quality and Water Quantity

Long description

This figure shows the structure of Theme 2, which includes one goal (Goal 3, Water quality and water quantity) and twelve targets. These include targets to support safe and secure water systems (Target 3.1, On-reserve First Nations water and wastewater systems; and Target 3.2, Drinking water quality), targets to protect and restore aquatic ecosystems (Target 3.3, Great Lakes – Canadian areas of concern; Target 3.4, Great Lakes; Target 3.5, St. Lawrence River; Target 3.6, Lake Simcoe and South-Eastern Georgian Bay; and Target 3.7, Lake Winnipeg Basin), and targets to prevent pollution and manage waste (Target 3.8, Marine pollution – releases of harmful pollutants; Target 3.9, Marine pollution – disposal at sea; Target 3.10, Agri-environmental performance idices; Target 3.11, Wastewater and industrial effluent; and Target 3.12, Water resource management).

The government has put in place one goal on water quality and availability. Targets that support this goal promote safe and secure water systems (addressing on-reserve First Nations water and wastewater systems, and drinking water quality); protect and restore aquatic ecosystems (in particular, in the Great Lakes, St. Lawrence River, Lake Simcoe and south-eastern Georgian Bay; and Lake Winnipeg) and prevent pollution and manage waste (for example, targets to manage marine pollution). This theme reflects current policy and programming such as the current partnership between the federal government and the Province of Alberta to conduct environmental monitoring in the oil sands region and the new Canada-U.S. Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. It also reflects the Wastewater Systems Effluent Regulations, established by the federal government under the Fisheries Act, which set Canada's first national standards for wastewater treatment and address the largest Canadian source of pollution to water. The federal government also has a number of other activities controlling water pollution including specific existing legal instruments for industrial sectors such as chemicals, mining and forestry.

Social and economic dimensions

Implementation strategies to reduce water pollution and ensure safe and secure water and wastewater systems are strongly linked to human health. For example, Implementation Strategies 3.2.1 (on developing drinking water quality guidelines) and 3.1.1 to 3.1.5 (on building capacity in First Nations on-reserve communities to monitor and manage water and wastewater systems) provide clear health benefits to Canadians. Restoring ecosystems in the Great Lakes, Lake Simcoe, Lake Winnipeg, and the St. Lawrence River (implementation strategies under Targets 3.3 to 3.7) can provide health and economic benefits through improved environmental quality and greater opportunity for recreation and tourism in these areas. Implementation Strategy 3.12.2 can provide economic benefits through investment in water technologies. 

Goal 3: Water quality and water quantity
Protect and enhance water so that it is clean, safe and secure for all Canadians and supports healthy ecosystems.

Indicators:

To achieve targets on supporting safe and secure water systems (Targets 3.1 and 3.2), the Government of Canada will support improving drinking water quality and wastewater management in on-reserve First Nations communities, and work with other jurisdictions to develop health-based water quality guidelines across Canada.  To achieve targets on protecting and restoring aquatic ecosystems (Targets 3.3 to 3.7) the government will continue to work with the United States, provincial and municipal governments, Aboriginal communities, domestic and international water boards, and stakeholders to conduct scientific research, undertake or support recovery actions, and monitor progress on ecosystem health.  To achieve targets on preventing pollution and managing waste (Targets 3.8 to 3.12), the government will set legal and regulatory frameworks to protect the marine environment from pollution, support the adoption of sustainable agriculture practices, and reduce negative environmental impacts from wastewater and industrial effluent. 

For example, the government will:

  • Continue to provide training and capacity building to enable on-reserve First Nations communities to maintain and operate drinking and wastewater systems and to monitor their drinking water quality, and support First Nations communities on reserves in complying with Canada's Wastewater Systems Effluent Regulations.
  • Continue to work with provinces, territories and federal departments to promote the use of a real-time tracking system for drinking water advisories.
  • Continue to work with the U.S. through the recently amended Canada-U.S. Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, and with provinces and stakeholders to conserve and restore key aquatic ecosystems in the Great Lakes, the St. Lawrence River and Lake Winnipeg.
  • Continue to collaborate with domestic and international partners and stakeholders to address trans-boundary water issues and advance sustainable water management in the North, Central Canada, Atlantic Canada, and Western Canada.
  • Collaborate with the Province of Alberta to implement the Joint Canada-Alberta Implementation Plan for Oil Sands Monitoring. The plan commits to a scientifically rigorous, comprehensive, integrated and transparent program to enhance monitoring of water, air, land and biodiversity in the oil sands region.
  • Implement the new Wastewater Systems Effluent Regulations, established under the Fisheries Act and published in July 2012. The regulations set Canada's first minimum national standards for wastewater treatment and address one of the largest Canadian sources of pollution to water. Collaboration is underway with provinces and territories to administer these regulations.

Targets to support safe and secure water systems

Target 3.1: On-reserve First Nations water and wastewater systems
Increase the percent of on-reserve First Nations water systems with low risk ratings from 27% to 50% by 2015. Increase the percent of on-reserve First Nations wastewater systems with low risk ratings from 35% to 70% by 2015.

(Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development)

Indicator:

  • Risk rating for First Nations water and wastewater systems management

Implementation strategies

Enabling capacity
  • 3.1.1. Increase on-reserve First Nations capacity to operate and maintain water and wastewater systems by improving access to and support for operator certification and training, in order to augment the number of certified operators. (AANDC)
  • 3.1.2. Prioritize investment support to on-reserve First Nations to target highest-risk water and wastewater systems. (AANDC)
  • 3.1.3. Provide on-reserve First Nations with funding and advice regarding, design, construction, operation and maintenance of their water and wastewater treatment facilities. (AANDC)
  • 3.1.4. Support all First Nations communities in ensuring ongoing access to a trained Community-Based Water Monitor or Environmental Health Officer. (HC)
  • 3.1.5. Support all First Nations communities in ongoing monitoring of drinking water quality as per the Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality. (HC)
Advancing knowledge and communication
  • 3.1.6. Develop, and update as required, technical guidance protocols, such as the Protocol for Centralised Drinking Water in First Nations Communities and the Protocol for Centralised Wastewater Treatment and Disposal in First Nations Communities, and the Protocol for Decentralised Water and Wastewater Systems in First Nations Communities. (AANDC)
Demanding performance
  • 3.1.7. Develop appropriate regulatory framework and legislation for safe drinking water and wastewater treatment in First Nations communities on reserves. (AANDC)

Target 3.2: Drinking water quality
Help protect the health of Canadians by developing up to 15 water quality guidelines/guidance documents by 2016.

(Minister of Health)

Indicator:

  • Water quality guidelines/guidance documents

Implementation strategy

Enabling capacity
  • 3.2.1. Develop on average five drinking water quality guidelines/guidance documents per year in collaboration with provinces/territories, which are used as a basis for their regulatory requirements. (HC)

Targets to protect and restore aquatic ecosystems

Target 3.3: Great Lakes - Canadian areas of concern
Take federal actions to restore beneficial usesFootnote1 for delisting five Canadian Areas of Concern and to reduce the number of impaired beneficial uses in the remaining Areas of Concern by 25% by 2018.

(Minister of the Environment)

Indicator:

Target 3.4: Great Lakes
Contribute to the restoration and protection of the Great Lakes by developing and gaining bi-national acceptance of objectives for the management of nutrients in Lake Erie by 2016 and for the other Great Lakes as required.

(Minister of the Environment)

Indicator:

Implementation strategies for Targets 3.3 and 3.4

Leading by example
  • 3.3.1. Provide leadership, oversight, coordination and governance for the Great Lakes by managing, delivering, and reporting on the Canada-U.S.Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement (GLWQA), the Great Lakes Nutrient Initiative, and the Canada-Ontario Agreement. (DFO, EC)
  • The plans and strategies on evolving historic issues and issues of emerging concern include:
    • Nutrients – Fulfilling obligations to address phosphorus loads to the Great Lakes.
    • Aquatic invasive species – Commitments to prevent their introduction and spread.
    • Habitat and species – Fulfilling obligations to address habitat and species protection.
    • Chemicals of mutual concern – Fulfilling obligations to reduce or eliminate the use and release of chemicals of concern (mutually agreed to for action by Canada and the U.S.) using approaches that are accountable, adaptive and science-based.
    • Climate change impacts – Fulfilling obligations to identify and quantify climate change impacts on water quality.
Enabling capacity
  • 3.3.2. Partner with Canadian and U.S. federal, state, tribal, provincial and municipal governments, First Nations, Metis, watershed management agencies, and other local public agencies to implement Remedial Action Plans and Lakewide Action and Management Plans in order to improve environmental quality and achieve the vision of a healthy and prosperous Great Lakes region. This includes funding from the Great Lakes Action Plan to coordinate Remedial Action Plans, providing technical and financial support through the Great Lakes Sustainability Fund to clean up and restore the Areas of Concern, and remediating contaminated sediment in Areas of Concern with funding from the Action Plan for Clean Water. (EC)
  • 3.3.3. Implement long-term management solutions to clean up radioactive waste in the Port Hope area. (NRCan)
Advancing knowledge and communication
  • 3.3.4. Release reports regularly on State of the Great Lakes environmental indicators, Progress Report of the Parties (Canada-U.S.), updates for Lakewide Action and Management Plans and a report on groundwater science. (EC)
  • 3.3.5. Coordinate with the U.S. scientific research and monitoring activities in the Great Lakes in order to fulfill the obligations of the Canada-U.S. Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. (EC)
Demanding performance
  • 3.3.6. Deliver and report on Great Lakes results federally-provincially, between the Government of Canada and the Province of Ontario through the Canada-Ontario Agreement and binationally between Canada and the U.S. through the Canada-U.S.Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. (EC)

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Target 3.5: St. Lawrence River
Take federal actions to reduce pollutants in order to improve water quality, conserve biodiversity and ensure beneficial uses in the St. Lawrence River by 2016.

(Minister of the Environment)

Indicator:

Implementation strategies

Leading by example
  • 3.5.1. Provide leadership, oversight, and coordination to the overall governance of the St. Lawrence Action Plan and report results achieved between the Government of Canada and the Government of Quebec. (EC)
Enabling capacity
  • 3.5.2. Establish cooperative partnerships between the federal and provincial governments to address biodiversity conservation, water quality improvement and sustainability of beneficial uses, and support stakeholder participation in collaboration processes and communities in improving environmental quality through Grants and Contribution Agreements. (EC)
Advancing knowledge and communication
  • 3.5.3. Conduct and coordinate prediction and monitoring activities in the St. Lawrence with other federal and provincial departments and release reports regularly on the State of the St. Lawrence and factsheets on 21 environmental indicators. (EC)

Target 3.6: Lake Simcoe and South-eastern Georgian Bay
Reduce an estimated 2000 kg of phosphorus loadings to Lake Simcoe by 2017, which will support the Province of Ontario's target to reduce phosphorus inputs into Lake Simcoe to 44 000 kg/year by 2045. Reduce an estimated 2000 kg of phosphorus loadings to south-eastern Georgian Bay watersheds by 2017.

(Minister of the Environment)

Indicator:

Implementation strategy

Enabling capacity
  • 3.6.1. Provide financial and technical support through the Lake Simcoe/South-eastern Georgian Bay Clean-Up Fund to implement priority projects aimed at reducing phosphorus inputs, conserving aquatic habitat and species, and enhancing research and monitoring capacity essential to the restoration of the Lake Simcoe and South-eastern Georgian Bay Basin watersheds. (EC)

Target 3.7: Lake Winnipeg Basin
By 2017, reduce phosphorus inputs to water bodies in the Lake Winnipeg Basin, in support of the Province of Manitoba's overall plan to reduce phosphorus in Lake Winnipeg by 50% to pre-1990 levels.

(Minister of the Environment)

Indicators:

Implementation strategies

Leading by example
  • 3.7.1. The Lake Winnipeg Basin Management Office will coordinate and manage the activities of the Lake Winnipeg Basin Initiative, work with existing water governance bodies, explore options and opportunities to cooperatively develop and support the implementation of a basin-wide nutrient strategy, and provide a forum for communication. This includes working with the Province of Manitoba to continue implementation of the Canada-Manitoba Memorandum of Understanding Respecting Lake Winnipeg, which provides for a long-term collaborative and coordinated approach between the two governments to ensure the sustainability and health of the Lake Winnipeg Basin. (EC)
Enabling capacity
  • 3.7.2. Provide financial and technical support, through the Lake Winnipeg Basin Stewardship Fund, to projects having concrete, demonstrable results to reduce pollutants and, in particular, nutrient loads, throughout the Lake Winnipeg Basin. (EC)
Advancing knowledge and communication
  • 3.7.3. Conduct science and monitoring activities required to understand the relationship between ecology and nutrient cycling and the sources and transport mechanisms for nutrients within Lake Winnipeg and its sub watersheds. This information helps inform the development of nutrient objectives and performance indicators for Lake Winnipeg. (EC)

Targets to prevent pollution and manage waste

Target 3.8: Marine pollution – releases of harmful pollutants
Protect the marine environment by an annual 5% reduction in the number of releases of harmful pollutants in the marine environment by vessels identified during pollution patrol from 2013-16.

(Minister of Transport)

Indicator:

  • Number of marine pollution spills from identified vessels

Implementation strategies

Demanding performance
  • 3.8.1. Set the legal and regulatory frameworks through domestic legislation and international conventions that govern the protection of the marine environment from pollution, the introduction of invasive species and the environmental impact of pollution incidents, and advance Canadian positions on reducing and managing global marine pollution from ships. (TC)
  • 3.8.2. Contribute to reducing pollution from vessels by monitoring compliance of marine transportation firms with Canadian legislation such as the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 through the National Aerial Surveillance Program, inspections, audits, monitoring, and enforcement. (TC)
  • 3.8.3. Implementation of the World Class Tanker Safety initiatives announced in Budget 2012 and on March 18, 2013 to support Responsible Resource Development. This includes, among others, increased tanker inspection, aerial surveillance, navigational products, and a new Incident Command System. (TC)

Target 3.9: Marine pollution - disposal at sea
Ensure that permitted disposal at sea is sustainable, such that 85% of disposal site monitoring events do not identify the need for site management action (such as site closure) from 2013-16.

(Minister of the Environment)

Indicator:

Implementation strategies

Demanding performance
  • 3.9.1. Complementary to 3.8.1, set the regulatory frameworks through domestic legislation and international conventions that govern the protection of the marine environment from pollution from disposal at sea, and advance Canadian positions that can influence global rules towards reducing and managing global marine pollution from all sources. (EC)
  • 3.9.2. Contribute to reducing pollution from disposal at sea through permit assessment and monitoring to ensure sustainability in compliance with Canadian legislation such as the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999. (EC)

Target 3.10: Agri-environmental performance metrics
Achieve a value between 81–100 on each of the Water Quality and Soil Quality Agri-Environmental Performance Metrics by March 31, 2030.

(Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food)

Indicator:

Implementation strategies

Enabling capacity
  • 3.10.1. Provide cost-shared funding to provinces and territories that provide a systematic approach to farmers to assess priority environmental risks, plan effective mitigation and increase adoption of sustainable agricultural practices at farm and landscape levels. The program components will be determined in 2013. (AAFC)
Advancing knowledge and communication
  • 3.10.2. Conduct targeted research to increase knowledge of water resources relative to agriculture and enhance knowledge of nutrient management to increase efficiency and lower the potential of contamination of water resources. (AAFC)
  • 3.10.3. Assess and report on the collective environmental and economic impact of the adoption of sustainable agriculture practices by farmers on the Canadian landscape. (AAFC)
  • 3.10.4. Working with provincial colleagues through the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment, produce a guidance manual for developing nutrient objectives for rivers, and identify additional opportunities for research on mitigating excess nutrients in Canadian waters. (EC)

Target 3.11: Wastewater and industrial effluent
Reduce risks associated with effluent from wastewater (sewage) and industrial sectors by 2020.

(Minister of the Environment)

Indicators:

  • Wastewater effluent quality – percentage of wastewater systems whose releases achieve regulatory limits
  • Wastewater effluent loading – loading of biological oxygen demand matter and suspended solids
  • Metal mining effluent quality – percentage of facilities whose releases achieve regulatory limits
  • Pulp and paper effluent quality – percentage of facilities whose releases achieve regulatory limits

Implementation strategies

Demanding performance
  • 3.11.1. Administer the Wastewater Systems Effluent Regulations to reduce the threats to fish, fish habitat, and human health from fish consumption. (EC)
  • 3.11.2. Continue to work with the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Quebec, and Newfoundland and Labrador on minimum effluent quality standards for wastewater effluent for the far north. (EC)
  • 3.11.3. Administer the Metal Mining Effluent Regulations under the Fisheries Act to control or manage the deposit of selected deleterious substances into water to protect water quality and aquatic ecosystems. (EC)
  • 3.11.4. Administer the Pulp and Paper Effluent Regulations under the Fisheries Act to control or manage the deposit of selected deleterious substances into water to protect water quality and aquatic ecosystems. (EC)

Target 3.12: Water resource management
Facilitate sustainable water resource management through the collection of data and the development and dissemination of knowledge from 2013–2016.

(Minister of the Environment)

Indicator:

  • Overall client satisfaction index, on a scale of 1 (unsatisfactory) to 10 (excellent) towards Environment Canada's delivery of the hydrometric program

Implementation strategies

Enabling capacity
  • 3.12.1. Deliver, with the Atlantic provinces, collaborative environmental initiatives that advance long-term coordinated approaches to water management that ensure the sustainability and health of water resources in Atlantic Canada. (EC)
  • 3.12.2. Diversify the western Canadian economy by making strategic investments in the commercialization and adoption of water technologies through the Western Diversification Program. (WD)
Advancing knowledge and communication
  • 3.12.3. Collaborate with the Government of Alberta and stakeholders to implement an industry-funded integrated approach to monitoring, evaluation, and reporting on the significance of environmental contaminant pathways in air and water, biological effects, and impacts of habitat disturbance as described in the Joint Canada-Alberta Implementation Plan for Oil Sands Monitoring. (EC)
  • 3.12.4. Collect and disseminate hydrological data and knowledge through the Water Survey of Canada, in order to help Canadian jurisdictions make water management decisions that ensure health and safety and support economic efficiency. (EC)
  • 3.12.5. Conduct surveys on water use such as the Canadian Environmental Sustainability Indicators Industrial Water Use Survey, Survey of Drinking Water Plants, Agriculture Water Use Survey, and Households and the Environment Survey. (StatCan)
  • 3.12.6. Provide governments and industry with access to necessary groundwater geoscience information. (NRCan)
  • 3.12.7. Continue to engage in domestic water boards (e.g. Prairie Provinces Water Board and Mackenzie River Basin Board) and international water boards (e.g. International Joint Commission) to coordinate on trans-boundary water issues with other Canadian federal, provincial, and territorial agencies and relevant U.S. counterparts. (EC)
  • 3.12.8. Continue to work through the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment towards a national approach to assess groundwater sustainability in order to support integrated water management decisions at the federal, provincial, and territorial levels. (EC)
  • 3.12.9. Conduct research and monitoring to advance knowledge on the state of Canada's watersheds. (EC)
  • 3.12.10. Continue to cooperate on ecosystem initiatives such as lake evaporation in the Okanagan ecosystem and sustainability indicators that incorporate First Nations traditional knowledge in the Salish Sea ecosystem. (EC)

Footnotes

Footnote 1

A beneficial use impairment is a reduction in the chemical, physical or biological integrity of the waters of the Great Lakes sufficient to cause any of the following: restrictions on fish and wildlife consumption; tainting of fish and wildlife flavour; degradation of fish and wildlife populations; fish tumours or other deformities; bird or animal deformities or reproduction problems; degradation of benthos; restrictions on dredging activities; eutrophication or undesirable algae; restrictions on drinking water consumption, or taste and odour problems; beach closings; degradation of aesthetics; added costs to agriculture or industry; degradation of phytoplankton and zooplankton populations; and loss of fish and wildlife habitat.

Return to footnote 1 referrer


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