Local Freshwater Quality in Canada

For the 2010 to 2012 period, freshwater quality was rated at 336 monitoring sites across Canada, 172 core sites and 164 local sites, by determining if chemicals in water and water's physical properties were at levels that could harm aquatic plants and animals. Core sites have been chosen to represent how humans have influenced water quality in the most populated parts Canada. Local sites provide more information about freshwater quality across Canada; they are not used to assess overall freshwater quality in Canada.Footnote [1]

Freshwater quality at monitoring sites for the 2010 to 2012 period, Canada


Long description

The map shows the freshwater quality indicator ratings (excellent, good, fair, marginal and poor) for the period 2010 to 2012 for 336 monitoring sites across Canada. From these sites, 172 core sites are used to calculate the national histogram, while the 164 local sites are included to provide more local information.

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How this indicator was calculated

Note: Freshwater quality was assessed using the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment's Water Quality Index.
Source: Data assembled by Environment Canada from federal, provincial, territorial and joint water quality monitoring programs.

Related indicators

Other information


Footnote 1

Water quality is assessed using the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment's Water Quality Index using water quality guidelines for the protection of aquatic life. For more details about how the indicator is calculated, please refer to the Data Sources and Methods document.

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