The Canada Water Act Annual Report 2005–2006

The Canada Water Act  Annual Report 2005–2006
The Canada Water Act
Annual Report
The Canada Water Act
Annual Report
Over 50% recycled
paper including 10%
post-consumer fibre.
Published by authority of
the Minister of the Environment
© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, 2007
Print version
Cat. No. En36-426/2006
ISBN 978-0-662-05428-3
Online in HTML and PDF at
PDF version
Cat. No. En36-426/2006E-PDF
ISBN 978-0-662-47623-8
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PREFACE .................................................................................................................................................. vii
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY ..............................................................................................................................Xi
HIGHLIGHTS, 2005–2006 ................................................................................................... 1
COMPREHENSIVE WATER RESOURCE MANAGEMENT (Part I of the Canada Water Act) ......... 1
1. Federal–Provincial–Territorial Programs ....................................................................................... 1
1.1 Data Collection and Use........................................................................................................... 1
1.2 Interjurisdictional Boards ......................................................................................................... .5
1.3 Ecosystem Initiatives: Watershed and Water-related Activities ............................................... 7
2. Water Research ........................................................................................................................... 16
2.1 Water Science & Technology Directorate .............................................................................. 16
2.2 St. Lawrence Centre .............................................................................................................. 18
2.3 Pacific Environmental Science Centre................................................................................... 20
2.4 Other Research Highlights ..................................................................................................... 21
PUBLIC INFORMATION PROGRAM (Part IV of the Canada Water Act) ....................................... 25
1. Freshwater Web Site.................................................................................................................... 25
2. Water Survey of Canada Website................................................................................................ 25
3. Environment Canada’s Biosphère ............................................................................................... 25
4. RésEau – Building Canadian Water Connections ....................................................................... 25
5. Canadian Digital Drainage Area Framework ............................................................................... 26
6. Pacific and Yukon Region ............................................................................................................ 26
APPENDIX A: AGREEMENTS ................................................................................................................... 27
APPENDIX B: FOR MORE INFORMATION ................................................................................................ 28
The Canada Water Act, proclaimed on September 30, 1970, provides the framework for cooperation with
provinces and territories in the conservation, development, and utilization of Canada’s water resources.
Section 38 requires that a report on the operations under the Act be laid before Parliament after the end of
each fiscal year. This, the 34th report, covers progress on these activities from April 1, 2005 to March 31,
The report describes a wide range of federal activities conducted under the authority of the Act, including
participation on federal–provincial–territorial agreements and undertakings, significant water research, and
a public information program. A map depicting Canada’s major drainage areas and drainage flows is
provided in Figure 1.
Provisions of the Canada Water Act
The following is a summary of the major provisions of the Act.
Part I, Section 4, provides for the establishment of federal–provincial consultative
arrangements for water resource matters. Sections 5, 6, and 8 provide the
vehicle for cooperative agreements with the provinces to develop and implement
plans for the management of water resources. Section 7 enables the Minister,
directly, or in cooperation with any provincial government, institution, or person, to
conduct research, collect data, and establish inventories associated with water
Part II provides for federal–provincial management agreements where water
quality has become a matter of urgent national concern. It permits the joint
establishment and use of federal or provincial incorporated agencies to plan and
implement approved water quality management programs. The application of
alternative cooperative approaches and programs has resulted in Part II never
having been used.
Part III, which provided for regulating the concentration of nutrients in cleaning
agents and water conditioners, was incorporated into the Canadian
Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) in 1988 and later into sections 116-119
(Part VII, Division I) of the new Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999,
which came into force March 31, 2000. (See the CEPA annual report to
Parliament, available at
Part IV contains provisions for the general administration of the Act. In addition,
Part IV provides for inspection and enforcement, allows the Minister to establish
advisory committees, and permits the Minister, either directly or in cooperation
with any government, institution, or person, to undertake public information
Figure 1. Major Drainage Areas and Drainage Flows in Canada.
Comments on the Report
At the end of this report, a feedback form has been included to share your comments. Feedback on the
report is appreciated and will help Environment Canada better understand the variety of audiences that
read the report, as well as help shape future annual reports on operations under the Canada Water Act.
List of Acronyms
CEPA 1999
Atlantic Coastal Action Program
Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme
Area of Concern
Canadian Aquatic Biomonitoring Network
Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment
1988 Canadian Environmental Protection Act
Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999
Canada–Ontario Agreement Respecting the Great Lakes Basin Ecosystem
environmental effects monitoring
environmental impact assessment
Ecological Monitoring and Assessment Network
Global Environmental Multiscale
geographic information system
Environment Canada’s hydrometric database
International Joint Commission
Institut national de recherche sur les eaux
Institut national de la recherche scientifique
Northern Ecosystem Initiative
nongovernmental organization
Northern Rivers Ecosystem Initiative
National Water Research Institute
polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
polychlorinated biphenyls
persistent organic pollutants
Prairie Provinces Water Board
State of Aquatic Ecosystem Report
zone d’intervention prioritaire (priority intervention zone)
Federal Programs
The Canada Water Act enables co-operative agreements for consultation and collaboration between the
federal, provincial, and territorial governments in matters relating to water resources. Joint projects involve
the regulation, apportionment, monitoring, or surveying of water resources, and the pre-planning, planning,
or implementation of sustainable water resource programs. The planning studies encompass
interprovincial, international, or other basins where federal interests are important. Implementation of
planning recommendations occurs on a federal, provincial, territorial or federal-provincial-territorial basis.
Agreements for specific water programs provide for the participating governments to contribute funding,
information, and expertise.
Various federal programs are highlighted in this Annual Report. For example, the first national assessment
of water quality in Canada was released in December 2005, as part of the Government of Canada’s
Canadian Environmental Sustainability Indicators initiative. As well, a number of federal-provincialterritorial water quality monitoring agreements have been developed since the early 1980s to provide data
on water quality. Progress also continued on the work conducted by interjurisdictional boards, including
the Ottawa River Regulation Planning Board, Prairie Provinces Water Board, and the Mackenzie River
Basin Board.
In 2005–2006, the National Water Research Institute (NWRI) and other water science and technology
groups in Environment Canada joined together to form the new Water Science and Technology
Directorate. The Water Science and Technology Directorate leads initiatives across the country to protect
and sustain Canadian water resources. Highlights of 2005–2006 include Research into Action to Benefit
Canadians, a publication that presents a series of stories where benefits have has been achieved;
publication of a decade of pulp and paper environmental monitoring results; and new research studies,
including the environmental role and economic value of wetlands and riparian zones in agricultural
landscapes across Canada, national standards for waterborne pathogens (disease-causing microorganisms) in agricultural watersheds across Canada; and several studies on the Great Lakes.
This report also highlights some of the public education programs, such as the Freshwater Website, Water
Survey of Canada Website, and RésEau, an online project that demonstrates the sharing, discovery,
access, and use of water information over the Internet.
Atlantic Region
The Atlantic Region consists of the provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and
Newfoundland and Labrador. In this region, water quality monitoring, toxicological and ecosystem
research, and integrated watershed management initiatives are the key components of Canada Water Act
In 2003–2004, Fisheries and Oceans Canada began an environmental impact assessment with the
province of New Brunswick to evaluate options for rehabilitating the Petitcodiac River estuary. In 2005–
2006, the harmonized environmental impact assessment was completed and several options for
restoration are being further examined.
A key watershed initiative in the region is the Atlantic Coastal Action Program (ACAP). ACAP is a
community-based funding program designed to address environmental and sustainable development
issues at a watershed level throughout Atlantic Canada. With broad, local support, non-profit organizations
are incorporated at 14 sites across the region. ACAP organizations worked on a variety of projects within
their local communities. Highlights of 2005–2006 progress include a multi-phased project to improve the
environmental health of the St. Croix Valley, a study on the effects of urbanization on the aquatic
environments of the Kennebecasis Valley, and a study of three rivers that flow through St. John’s and
Mount Pearl.
Quebec Region
In the Quebec Region, the St. Lawrence River and connected ecosystems are the main focus of the
Canada Water Act. At the St. Lawrence Centre, which is the only federal research and development
centre devoted entirely to the river ecosystem, specialists are involved in a number of studies and
research programs aimed at better understanding how the ecosystems of the St. Lawrence River function
and how to keep this knowledge up to date.
The State of the St. Lawrence Monitoring Program continued monitoring water quality, sediment quality,
and biological resources in the St. Lawrence Basin, this year adding a usage and riverbanks component,
which is currently being developed. A new communication tool was developed involving travelling display
booths presenting both general and local information on the state of the St. Lawrence. A study was
undertaken to evaluate terrestrial and aquatic species at risk on lands occupied by National Defence along
the St. Lawrence.
In 2005–2006, work under the research program on river ecosystems continued on two main themes: urban
effluents and biodiversity. Work on identifying and quantifying standard contaminants and emerging
substances as well as their environmental fate also continued. The development of ecotoxicological
evaluation tools carried on, and the urban effluents study data were developed for the evaluation of various
waste treatment technologies. The biodiversity program produced several results on the spread and
introduction of alien invasive species, the impact of environmental stress on aquatic productivity, and the
links between environmental stress and health of organisms. Scientific documents from the St. Lawrence
Centre were made more readily available on the website (
Specialists at the Meteorological Service of Canada continued their digital modelling of the St. Lawrence
River. Simulations representing the hydrodynamics for various scenarios for water inflow into the St.
Lawrence River were produced for the section of the river between Cornwall and Trois-Rivières. Modelling
analyses also considered other physical parameters, such as those related to waves, light, and water
temperature, in addition to biological models.
Ontario Region
Ontario Region’s activities in the Great Lakes Basin under the federal Great Lakes Program are key
components of Environment Canada’s Canada Water Act deliverables. The activities of the partner
government departments and agencies that participate in the federal Great Lakes Program are organized
in relation to three main goals (healthy environment, healthy citizens, and sustainable communities) and
seven objectives (restore Areas of Concern [AOCs], conserve ecologically important areas, control
introduction of exotic species, assess and manage ecosystem health, protect and promote human health,
reduce harmful pollutants, and advance sustainable use).
Through the 2002 Canada–Ontario Agreement Respecting the Great Lakes Basin Ecosystem (COA),
accomplishments in 2005–2006 included progress towards rehabilitating ecological systems in all AOCs,
significant reduction of harmful pollutants, release of the first biennial Progress Report under the 2002
COA, and initiation of the COA review.
The Canada–Ontario Water Use and Supply Project has made considerable progress throughout the past
five years on a work-share basis and has completed many successful sub-projects as a result of the study.
Within the region, water use and supply studies continued to focus on gathering information at the
watershed level to help assess human and ecological sensitivities to changes in water availability and
climate change within the Great Lakes Basin.
Prairie and Northern Region
The Prairie and Northern Region encompasses more than 50% of Canada’s land mass and includes five
jurisdictions: Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut.
A key project, the Northern Ecosystem Initiative, supports partnership-based efforts to improve
understanding of impacts and adaptation to climate change, investigations of local contaminant concerns,
improved management of resource use activities, and the development of a northern monitoring network
in support of status and trend reporting. Selected water-related research projects in 2005–2006 include an
investigation of how Great Bear Lake interacts with the atmosphere in relation to climate change and local
meterological events, a study investigating mercury levels in Lake Trout from Nunavik, and a study to
collect and disseminate information on waste management and contaminated sites within the Yukon River
The Prairie Provinces Water Board was established in this region to ensure that eastward-flowing
interprovincial streams are shared equitably and that water quality at interprovincial boundaries is
maintained at acceptable levels. The Board also facilitates a cooperative approach for the integrated
development and management of interprovincial streams and aquifers to ensure their sustainability.
Accomplishments in 2005–2006 included the finalization of a Charter and a Strategic Plan, development of
a forecast of future water use, and completion of a study on the economic value of water in alternative
The Mackenzie River Basin Board was created in 1997 to ensure a healthy and diverse aquatic
ecosystem for the benefit of present and future generations within the Mackenzie River Basin. After
completing and distributing the first State of the Aquatic Ecosystem Report (SOAER) in 2004, the Board
made presentations to several associations in 2005–2006. The Board also began major preparations for
the next cycle of SOAER reporting.
Pacific and Yukon Region
The Pacific and Yukon Region encompasses British Columbia and Yukon. The region is characterized by
rugged terrain and variations in the amount, distribution, and form of water, resulting in a diverse climate.
The federal-provincial Georgia Basin Action Plan was announced on April 2, 2003, as a renewal of the
Georgia Basin Ecosystem Initiative. The Action Plan is built upon a vision of “healthy, productive, and
sustainable ecosystems and communities in the Georgia Basin” and is a key component of this region’s
initiatives on water. Under the Action Plan, projects and research are funded to address threats to and
pressures and impacts on the sustainability of the Georgia Basin. Priorities include habitat and species
conservation, reduction of pollutants, remediation of shellfish growing areas, and improved local decisionmaking. Examples of work in 2005–2006 include monitoring stream condition assessment, monitoring
emerging chemicals of concern in municipal wastewater, and promoting the website,
which provides information on integrated water management in British Columbia.
The Pacific Environmental Science Centre continues to conduct studies on the toxicology and chemistry of
fresh and marine water in the Georgia Basin. The Pacific and Yukon Region also continues to promote
several public information programs.
HIGHLIGHTS, 2005–2006
(Part I of the Canada Water Act)
1. Federal–Provincial–Territorial Programs
This section describes federal, provincial, and
territorial collaboration on:
• data collection and use;
• interjurisdictional boards; and
• ecosystem initiatives.
1.1 Data Collection and Use
1.1.1 Collection of Water Quantity Data
Under hydrometric agreements administered
since 1975 with the provinces and territories,
government agencies have gathered, analyzed,
and interpreted water quantity data to meet a
wide range of client needs in the hydrologic
Under an initiative known as the partnership
renewal process, the government partners have
been reviewing the existing bilateral agreements
in order to determine the best path forward for
updating the 1975 agreements.
Work continued on re-engineering the collection
of hydrometric data in order to minimize the
associated field hazards. New field technologies
became operational following several years of
research and testing. Although funding under the
Program Integrity initiative ended in March 2005,
developmental efforts continued with other
sources of funding.
Progress (to March 31, 2006)
Slow progress continued in finalizing the draft
bilateral agreements. The provinces of Nova
Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador opted
to wait until the province of New Brunswick
completed its review of the draft agreement and
cost implications. New Brunswick proposed
some minor changes to the draft for submission
to their committee review process, which is
required before provincial Cabinet review of
the agreement.
The four Atlantic provinces and Environment
Canada held a workshop on monitoring, data
sharing, and information management. This
workshop was held under the umbrella of the
Atlantic Competitive and Environmental
Sustainability Framework. The workshop
produced a statement of common principles and
priorities, as well as a commitment to pursue
monitoring proposals, including one for water
Six discontinued hydrometric stations in
Newfoundland and three in Nova Scotia were
successfully decommissioned.
The focus of the Program Integrity initiative
continued to be on research and development.
Significant progress has been made in testing
and evaluating hydroacoustic technologies for
suitability as an operational tool within the water
survey field program. Selected models of the
acoustic Doppler current profiler, an instrument
that has shown great promise in reducing the
time expended and dangers encountered by
field staff when conducting velocity and flow
measurements, were introduced into the
operational field program. Other technologies
that are being investigated include in situ
acoustic velocity meters, and non-contact stage,
velocity, and flow meters using radar and laser
systems. Additional progress was made in the
development of hydraulic and hydrological
techniques that will reduce the risks associated
with field measurements and will allow for the
extrapolation of data from existing hydrometric
stations to estimate stream flows at ungauged
Detailed discussions were held with federal,
provincial, and private sector partners regarding
the provision of gridded hydrological data
products derived from the operational numerical
weather prediction Global Environmental
Multiscale model, a numerical weather prediction
tool. A select group of clients continued
evaluations of advanced versions of a webbased data extraction tool and a web portal for
disseminating specialized information about
gridded data products to the hydrological
The Water Supply Working Group completed the
analysis of streamflow statistics for watersheds
of the Great Lakes Basin using information from
Environment Canada’s streamflow monitoring
network. Watersheds were also ranked based on
their low flow characteristics using an indicator
called the base flow index.
1.1.2 Water Use and Supply Data
The Water Use Working Group continued efforts
to complete the Water Use Report and the
Demand Forecasting Report. Future efforts by
the working group will include attempts to report
water use for smaller watershed areas.
In the fall of 2000, Canada and the province of
Ontario initiated a joint federal-provincial water
use and supply project for the Great Lakes
Basin. The primary objectives are to gain
baseline information, at the sub-basin level, on
water supply, use, and demand to identify the
system’s ecological sensitivities to water
resources and to make projections for the future,
including the potential impacts of climate
Environment Canada and the Ontario Ministry of
Natural Resources co-lead the project. The
project management team includes members
from these two agencies, along with the Ontario
Ministry of the Environment, the Ontario Ministry
of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs,
Conservation Ontario, and Fisheries and Oceans
Canada. Three technical working groups (water
use, water supply, and ecological requirements)
conduct the work.
In the coming year, members of the Canada–
Ontario Water Use and Supply Project will look
at ways to integrate the water supply, water use,
and ecological requirements information to
identify the relative sensitivity of watersheds
across the Great Lakes Basin.
1.1.3 Water Quality Monitoring Agreements
Beginning in the early 1980s, federal-provincial
agreements were negotiated with several
provinces and territories, including British
Columbia (1985), Manitoba (1988), New
Brunswick (1988), Newfoundland (1986),
Northwest Territories (1995), Prince Edward
Island (1989), Quebec (1983), and Yukon
Progress (to March 31, 2006)
The Canada–Ontario Water Use and Supply
Project has made considerable progress
throughout the past five years on a work-share
basis and has completed many successful subprojects as a result of the study.
In the past year, the Ecological Requirements
Working Group continued efforts to assess
ecological sensitivities to changes in water
availability. The work has primarily focused on
watersheds in the Lake Ontario Basin. One
project developed a methodology to rank
watersheds in the Lake Ontario Basin based on
the sensitivity of their wetland resources to
decreased water availability. Another project
looked at the potential water quality impacts for
select watersheds in the Lake Ontario Basin due
to changes in water quantity.
The agreement with New Brunswick was
revised in 1995 when the provincial
government undertook to collect, analyze,
and manage the data for the water quality
monitoring program. The agreement with
Prince Edward Island was incorporated into the
Canada–Prince Edward Island Water Annex in
1996, which expired in 1999 and was replaced
with the Canada–Prince Edward Island
Memorandum of Agreement on Water signed
in May 2001. Water quality monitoring
continues under this new agreement.
The agreement with Quebec was terminated in
1995 because activities were similar to those in
the St. Lawrence Action Plan. A specific
framework agreement was negotiated with
Quebec for the monitoring of the state of the
St. Lawrence River, including long-term water
quality monitoring. The agreement marks the first
partnership between Environment Canada–
Quebec Region, Fisheries and Oceans Canada–
Quebec Region, the Quebec Ministry of the
Environment, and the Société de la faune et des
parcs du Québec. St. Lawrence River water
quality monitoring stations are shared by
Environment Canada and the Quebec Ministry
of the Environment. In 2005–2006, discussions
resumed between Environment Canada and
the Department of Sustainable Development,
Environment and Parks concerning the
development of a long-term agreement on
water quality monitoring, including several
St. Lawrence tributaries.
Progress (to March 31, 2006)
In New Brunswick, 10 long-term surface water
quality stations continued to be monitored under
the federal-provincial agreement. These stations
were used to report on freshwater quality in the
2006 Canadian Environmental Sustainability
Indicators (CESI) report.
In Newfoundland and Labrador, 90 water quality
sites continued to be sampled under the federalprovincial agreement. Water quality monitoring at
a selected network of Labrador ashkui sites (the
term ashkui refers to the first open water area in
the spring) were sampled for the last time in the
spring of 2005, even though future reporting
needs will identify these sites as essential for this
northern area. A new study under the Northern
Ecosystem Initiative investigated the impact of
the third phase of the Trans-Labrador highway
on water resources in the Mealy Mountains of
Labrador. The national Water Quality Indicators
Project begins to utilize stations in preparation
for the Water Quality Index report. The National
Wetlands and Canada and NewfoundlandLabrador Aquatic Link/RésEau Projects are
identified under the Water Quality Agreement.
For the 2006 CESI report, data from more
monitoring stations were used to calculate
water quality.
Lake water quality monitoring continued in New
Brunswick, Nova Scotia and western
Newfoundland for Environment Canada’s
ongoing Long-range Transport of Airborne
Pollutants Program. Water quality monitoring
continued in New Brunswick in support of longterm multi-agency research projects on the
impacts of forestry operations on water quality at
Catamaran Brook.
Annual meetings were held by representatives
for the Canada–PEI Memorandum of
Understanding on Water. Within this agreement
it was agreed that the five-year review document
would be produced, highlighting projects during
the 2003–2005 period. Samples were taken at
5 federal-provincial hydrometric stations,
8 groundwater stations, 10 marine/estuary
stations, and 14 freshwater stations. Benthic
sampling (sampling biota that live in the
sediment) occurred at a reduced rate with
emphasis placed on ensuring the program is
maintaining Canadian Aquatic Biomonitoring
Network (CABIN) standards. A selection of data
from stations was made available to the public
through the provincial and RésEau websites.
Information from this water quality network was
used in the 2006 CESI report.
In Quebec, the cooperative effort arising from
the Canada–Quebec agreement on the
St. Lawrence and the federal-provincial
agreement on the State of the St. Lawrence
Monitoring Program led to the third year of a joint
study on pesticides in Lake Saint-Pierre and
tributaries, the region of Quebec where the
risks associated with farming are the highest.
This project involved monitoring problematic
tributaries on the St. Lawrence River (Yamaska,
Nicolet, and Saint-François) to identify types of
pesticides, their concentrations, and their
temporal distribution mode. The data from the
second year of sampling were covered in the
initial report on the project. In 2005–2006, a
triennial report was produced.
Environment Canada and Manitoba Water
Stewardship continued to support the Canada–
Manitoba Water Quality Monitoring Agreement.
Environment Canada monitored water quality
each month on five rivers at sites located on
either interprovincial or international boundaries.
Ions, nutrients, metals and pesticides are
monitored in water under the Agreement. In
addition to this monthly program, automated
Water Quality Monitor is operated on the Red
River at the international boundary, providing
near real-time information via satellite on
dissolved oxygen, conductivity, pH and
temperature. In response to the operation of the
constructed outlet from Devils Lake, North
Dakota, weekly water quality samples are
collected and analyzed for ions and nutrients
during the open water season.
Environment Canada and the British Columbia
Ministry of Environment jointly conducted biweekly or monthly water quality monitoring at
37 stream or river sites in British Columbia. This
included two stations that were added to the
network due to additional resources from the
federal Water Quality Indicator fund and
matching funds from the province. At least
two more stations are also being considered.
This network expansion has improved spatial
water quality representation in the province.
Cooperative arrangements to test groundwater
quality at wells continued where cost-effective.
Environment Canada monitored water quality at
an additional six stream or river sites in British
Columbia and seven sites in Yukon Territory.
Many of these sites were monitored in
cooperation with the Parks Canada Agency.
Four of the Yukon sites were added in 2005–
2006 with Water Quality Indicator funding and
sampled in cooperation with Yukon Territory.
The water quality web project, which was
developed as a pilot in 2002–2003, in
cooperation with the Canadian Information
System for the Environment, continued to evolve
with support from RésEau and Georgia Basin
Action Plan funding. Water quality data and
associated information are available on the
website (
home.htm). Developments in 2005–2006
included the design of a station webpage that
contains annual descriptive statistics for Water
Quality Indicator calculations, update of National
Pollutant Release Inventory information, sitespecific guideline and objective information
accessible through the data graphing function,
and a freshwater quality indicator section with
links to the Canadian Council of Ministers of the
Environment website on water quality
1.1.4 Petitcodiac River Estuary Restoration
In 1968, a one-kilometre causeway and dam with
five sluice gates was built across the Petitcodiac
River estuary in southern New Brunswick. While
beneficial as a crossing, the causeway is also a
barrier that impedes freshets and tidal flows.
Over the years, this condition has created
ecological issues related to fish passage, levels
of nutrients and dissolved oxygen, pollution, and
channel sedimentation.
Progress (to March 31, 2006)
The first draft of harmonized environmental
impact assessment ( was
completed. The overall conclusions were:
• For fish passage to be re-established on the
Petitcodiac River for nine important species,
the Status Quo and Project Option 1
(replacing the fishway) and Project Option 2
(gates open during peak migration) will not
achieve this. Only Project Option 3 (gates
open permanently) and Project Option 4
(replace the causeway with a partial bridge)
with modifications do.
• Option 3 would be the least costly to build
and operate, but would not have the
enhanced benefits (increased sediment
erosion and tidal exchange) of Project Option
• Project Option 4A is another way of achieving
the same result as Project Option 3, but will
have less of an environmental effect on traffic
patterns during the construction phase.
• Project Option 4B affords a greater degree of
flexibility should predicted sediment erosion
and increased tidal exchange be found to be
less than predicted under Project Options 3
or 4A.
• Project Option 4B can start with just opening
the control structure and, later, widen the
causeway beyond the control structure if the
tidal exchange needs to be enhanced. If this
is not required, then the additional cost of
widening the opening can be avoided.
• Project Option 4C would be the most costly
Project Option and would have inherent
construction risks (dredging or cofferdam
failure and proximity to the former Moncton
Landfill immediately downstream) that would
be much greater than the other Project
1.1.5 Canadian Environmental Sustainability
Following the recommendations of the 2003
National Round Table on the Environment and
the Economy Report, the Government of Canada
committed in the federal budget in March 2004 to
develop and report better environmental
indicators on clean air, clean water, and
greenhouse gas emissions.
Progress (to March 31, 2006)
Using a water quality index that summarizes the
extent to which water quality guidelines for the
protection of aquatic life (plants, invertebrates, and
fish) are exceeded in Canadian rivers and lakes,
the first national assessment of water quality in
Canada was released in December 2005, as part
of the Government of Canada’s CESI initiative.
The freshwater indicator chapter of the CESI
report was based on a preliminary assessment of
monitoring data from 345 federal, provincial, and
federal-provincial monitoring stations across
Canada, including the Great Lakes, and involved
cooperation across several federal departments
and the provinces. A complementary, online tool
was also released to provide indicator results and
supporting information in a user-friendly format,
including interactive maps that allow users to
directly access monitoring station metadata used
to develop the water indicator.
Work is presently underway with Statistics Canada
and other departments to expand the current
water quality monitoring network so that a more
representative distribution of water bodies
(northern, rural, and protected areas) and water
uses (aquatic life, agriculture, and drinking
sources) can be covered by the national indicator.
Environment Canada and Statistics Canada are
also collaborating to improve interpretation of the
new water indicator through surveys on household
and environment (2006), industrial water use
(2007), and agricultural water use (2008).
Opportunities to link the indicator to the surveys
and to other national databases to enhance
analysis and modeling capabilities are also being
investigated. The second annual CESI report is
scheduled for release in November 2006 and, for
the first time, will report on freshwater quality in
northern Canada.
1.2 Interjurisdictional Boards
1.2.1 Ottawa River Regulation Planning Board
In 1983, Canada, Quebec, and Ontario
concluded an Agreement Respecting Ottawa
River Basin Regulation. Under its terms, a board
was constituted to plan and recommend
regulation criteria for the 13 principal reservoirs
of the basin, taking into account flood protection,
hydroelectric power production, and other
interests. Supported by a regulating committee
and a secretariat, the Ottawa River Regulation
Planning Board endeavours to ensure that the
integrated management of the reservoirs
provides protection against flooding along the
Ottawa River and its tributaries and along its
channels in the Montréal region.
During the spring freshet, hydrometric and
meteorological data are collected daily and are
used to develop inflow forecasts. A simulation
model is used to evaluate the effects of subbasin inflows and regulatory decisions on flows
and levels throughout the basin. The secretariat
provides information on flows and levels to the
public. Since 1986, flood reserves have been
implemented in three of the principal reservoirs
(Quinze, Timiskaming, and Poisson Blanc) to
improve downstream flood reduction. One of the
main benefits of the reserves is to enable
operation of the Grand Moulin dam to provide
protection for residents along the Mille-Îles River
in the Montréal region.
Progress (to March 31, 2006)
There was no significant flooding along the main
stem of the Ottawa River during the spring of
2005. However, water levels did exceed the
flooding threshold for four days in the Lake of
Two Mountains area near Montréal. Prudent
management of the reservoirs, including use
of storage volumes for flood reserves, was
successful in reducing the magnitude of peak
The Board convened four meetings during the
year in Ontario and Quebec. The meetings dealt
with typical agenda items such as activities of
the Ottawa River Regulating Committee,
enquiries from outside organizations and the
general public, and progress of projects planned
or underway along the Ottawa River.
The seventh annual public meeting was held in
Pembroke, Ontario on August 23, 2005. There
was considerable interest from members of the
public regarding regulation of the inter-provincial
reach of the river from Mattawa to Arnprior, and
issues of water levels and erosion on Lake
Temiscaming. This was one of the largest public
meetings with approximately 100 attendees.
1.2.2 Prairie Provinces Water Board
In 1969, Canada, Alberta, Manitoba, and
Saskatchewan signed the Master Agreement on
Apportionment, which provides for the equitable
apportionment of eastward-flowing Prairie rivers
and the consideration of water quality problems.
Schedules A and B provide general principles
to apportion water between the provinces.
Lodge and Battle Creeks in southwestern
Saskatchewan are apportioned under Article 6,
Schedule A, of the Master Agreement and the
1921 Order of the International Joint Commision
(IJC) under the terms of the 1909 Canada–
United States Boundary Waters Treaty. Under
Schedule C, the Prairie Provinces Water Board
was reconstituted to administer the provisions of
the Master Agreement. Schedule E specifies
acceptable water quality objectives in each river
reach along the interprovincial boundaries and
further defines the duties of the board with
respect to its water quality mandate.
Progress (to March 31, 2006)
During 2005, runoff was well above normal
across the Prairies with record flows on some
systems. As a result, apportionment was met on
all watercourses. On the South Saskatchewan
River, where there is the largest amount of
development of all eastward flowing
watercourses, Alberta delivered about 93% of
the natural flow to Saskatchewan.
In 2005, the Board completed work that was
initiated in 2004 with a multi-agency workshop
and subsequent work by a special Board
committee of agency representatives. The
refinement of the Board’s role and responsibilities has provided a renewed consideration
of the accountability of the Board and its
supporting committees. As a result of this
process, the Board has become more
focused on its core responsibilities: ensuring
apportionment is met, identifying exceedences
to water quality objectives, and determining
any threats to transboundary aquifers.
The Board continued its role in helping to
ensure coordination of water management
and planning that may have transboundary
implications. The Board also coordinated a very
successful workshop on instream flow needs.
Representatives from a number of agencies
with an interest in instream flow needs were
brought together to share information on
approaches in general use within the Prairies.
Such a workshop highlights an important role the
Board can play in helping convene forums for the
exchange of information.
Other Board developments included completion
of a study on the economic value of water in
alternative uses, and the development of a
forecast of future water use. Presentations at
Board meetings on a new land and water
information system under development by Prairie
Farm Rehabilitation Administration, and the new
drought study by the University of Saskatchewan
and other universities helped to keep the Board
informed of new and emerging issues.
Each of the three standing committees for
Hydrology, Water Quality, and Groundwater held
at least one face-to-face meeting and additional
conference calls, as necessary, and each
continued to advance knowledge in their
particular areas of interest.
The Committee on Hydrology continued to look
at ways to refine and improve the extensive
hydrometric network to ensure the accurate
determination of apportionment. The Committee
started the process of re-assessing its data
management and computational infrastructure
in 2006.
The Committee on Water Quality revised its
method for reporting on water quality objective
exceedences, revised and updated its Spill
Response Plan, and continued its work on the
development of nutrient objectives.
The Committee on Groundwater finalized its
project on the mapping of transboundary
aquifers, and initiated the development of a
framework plan for aquifer management.
1.2.3 Mackenzie River Basin Board
The governments of Canada, British Columbia,
Alberta, Saskatchewan, the Northwest
Territories, and Yukon signed the Mackenzie
River Basin Transboundary Waters Master
Agreement in July 1997. The Master Agreement
endorses the principle of managing water
resources for future generations in a manner
consistent with the maintenance of the ecological
integrity of the aquatic ecosystem. It provides for
early and effective consultation on potential
developments and activities in the basin that
could affect the integrity of the aquatic
ecosystem. It also contains provisions for seven
sets of bilateral agreements between adjacent
jurisdictions in the basin. When these bilateral
agreements are complete, they will identify
scientific criteria for water quality, water quantity,
and seasonal timing of flows at boundary
crossing points required to maintain the integrity
of the aquatic ecosystem of transboundary
water bodies.
Technical Committee and mandated it to provide
technical support and advice to the Board,
address monitoring and reporting requirements
of the Master Agreement and bilaterals, and
provide support and advice to the preparation of
the next SOAER. The Technical Committee
developed terms of reference and began the
development of a Hydrological Model of the
The Mackenzie River Basin Board administers
the Master Agreement. Its members are
appointed and represent all parties: Canada,
British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, the
Northwest Territories, and Yukon. Federal
members include representatives of Environment
Canada, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada,
and Health Canada. There are five Aboriginal
board members nominated by Aboriginal
organizations in each of the jurisdictions.
The Secretariat made presentations based on
the SOAER to the Northern Territories Water
and Waste Association, the Peel Watershed
Planning Commission, the Canadian Water
Resources Association, the Mackenzie Study
Group of the Global Water and Energy Cycle
Experiment, and a Peace–Athabasca Delta
Under the Master Agreement, Environment
Canada is responsible for managing the
expenditures of the board, which are cost-shared
equally by the parties. Shareable costs include,
among other things, the staffing and operation of
a secretariat to support the board at the working
level. An executive director of the secretariat is
hired within Environment Canada–Prairie and
Northern Region to plan, direct, and manage
board operations. The secretariat is located near
the center of the Mackenzie River Basin in Fort
Smith, Northwest Territories.
The website ( went online in 2002.
News items, maps, and reports can be
downloaded. The website plays a role in
providing public information about water in the
Progress (to March 31, 2006)
The Mackenzie River Basin Board has a major
responsibility under the Master Agreement to
produce a State of Aquatic Ecosystem Report
(SOAER) for the Mackenzie River Basin every
five years. After completing and distributing the
first SOAER in 2004, the Board reorganized its
The Board also reorganized its SOAER
Committee. The SOAER Committee began
planning for the next cycle of State of the Aquatic
Ecosystem reporting. The next SOAER will be
prepared in fiscal year 2007–2008 and published
in 2008–2009.
1.3 Ecosystem Initiatives: Watershed and
Water-related Activities
During 2005–2006, Environment Canada
continued the implementation of its Ecosystem
Initiatives. They have been developed with a
wide range of partners to respond to the unique
and complex environmental and sustainability
issues of targeted ecosystems across Canada.
Through the application of an ecosystem
approach, the objective is to attain the highest
level of environmental quality within targeted
ecosystems as a means to enhance the health
and safety of Canadians, preserve and enhance
natural resources, and optimize economic
Ecosystem Initiatives achieve results by relying
on measurable environmental results, aligned
and coordinated efforts, collaborative
governance mechanisms, integrated science and
monitoring, community involvement, sharing
information and experiences, and informed
decision making. A wide variety of products,
tools, and information was produced by each
initiative this year. However, the focus of this
report is primarily on water-related activities and
their interjurisdictional arrangements.
1.3.1 Atlantic Coastal Action Program
1.3.2 St. Lawrence Plan
The Atlantic Coastal Action Program (ACAP)
was initiated by Environment Canada in 1991. It
is centred on community-based leadership and
delivery to address environmental and
sustainable development issues in ecosystems
involving watersheds and coastal areas
throughout Atlantic Canada. With broad local
support, non-profit organizations were
incorporated at 14 sites across Atlantic Canada.
At these sites, Environment Canada contributes
funding, technical and scientific expertise, and
direct staff support with respect to four broad
categories of projects relevant to the Canada
Water Act: clean water, atmospheric emissions,
toxics, and natural habitat.
Originally launched in 1988, the St. Lawrence
Plan (SLP) is a Canada–Quebec ecosystem
initiative to protect, preserve, and restore the
St. Lawrence River ecosystem. This five-year
plan has been renewed three times since 1988
and has achieved concrete results through
concerted efforts on the part of federal and
provincial departments, aided by the private
sector, universities, research centres, ZIP (Zone
d’intervention prioritaire [priority intervention
zone]) committees, nongovernmental
organizations, and riverside communities. Efforts
are focused on the St. Lawrence River and its
major tributaries, from Lake Saint-François at the
Quebec–Ontario border to the eastern end of the
Gulf of St. Lawrence.
Progress (to March 31, 2006)
ACAP organizations delivered projects on a
variety of issues within their local communities.
In southern New Brunswick, the St. Croix
Estuary Project is undertaking an ongoing, multiphased project to improve the environmental
health of the St. Croix Valley. They worked with
the Town of St. Stephen to clean up the
waterfront. They also worked on the local water
supply to address high bacterial counts,
chlorination, and negative impacts on the
protected water of the Dennis Stream, its
aquifers, and, in turn, the St. Croix River.
ACAP Saint John studied the effects of
urbanization on the aquatic environments of the
Kennebecasis Valley. Mapping the concentration
of contaminants and several water quality
parameters in the river and along two streams
flowing into the river will serve in monitoring both
point source and non-point source pollution. A
dye study was also conducted to determine the
potential fate of contaminants entering the
Kennebecasis River from Taylor’s Brook.
In eastern Newfoundland, Northeast Avalon
ACAP partnered with the Department of
Environment and Conservation, and the
Department of Chemistry at Memorial University
to conduct a study on three rivers that flow
through St. John’s and Mount Pearl. The main
focus of the study is to determine the amount of
road salt that enters these rivers during the
winter months.
The new 2005–2010 Canada–Quebec
Agreement was signed in November 2005. This
fourth phase of the SLP continues the
collaborative implementation of several
measures dedicated to conservation, protection,
and restoration of the ecosystem and recovery of
use. It also initiates the implementation of a new
governance mechanism–integrated management
of the St. Lawrence (IMSL).
Progress (to March 31, 2006)
Accomplishments in 2005–2006 included:
• Integrated Management of the St. Lawrence
— The Intergovernmental Working Group on
IMSL completed the first phase of its
mandate — preparation of a technical
document describing the governance
mechanisms and how IMSL is to be
implemented by agencies currently working
on the St. Lawrence River. The document is
the product of consultation and partnership
involving the community, including the ZIP
committees and Stratégies Saint-Laurent,
as well as the federal and provincial
departments that are partners in the SLP.
• Portrait of Community Action — A portrait of
community action over the 15 years of the
St. Lawrence Action Plan has been
completed. It shows the progressive
participation by St. Lawrence riverside
communities and their increased involvement
in the achievement of SLP results.
• Community Interaction Program — During
2005–2006, the Community Interaction
Program supported the implementation of 40
projects, 15 of which were carried out by ZIP
committees and are related to the Ecological
Restoration Action Plans in their intervention
zones. A supporting team comprising ten
Environment Canada scientists was set up to
improve the scientific and technical support
provided to ZIP committees and communities.
sheets presenting the results of monitoring
indicators were updated in preparation for
Rendez-vous St. Lawrence, a public event to
be held in June 2006 to report on new
findings and the changing state of the
St. Lawrence. A travelling information
booth on the state of the St. Lawrence
was also developed in collaboration with
representatives of riverside communities
and the Biosphère.
• Youth Education Programs — Community
involvement has also led to support for youth
education programs at the Biosphère and the
first Sommet jeunesse sur l’eau et le SaintLaurent, organized in cooperation with the
Établissements verts Brundtland and the Club
2/3. A youth magazine entitled Fleuve Action
was produced, and collaboration started with
Moncton University on the production of two
new environmental education programs
aimed at primary and secondary schools
students. Youth engagement activities
continued through the Adopt a River project
in cooperation with the Comité de valorisation
de la rivière Beauport and the Freshwater
Fish Ecowatch Network.
• Ecological Integrity — In the area of
ecological integrity, metals discharged in
urban effluents were identified and quantified
and their environmental fate was modelled. In
addition, the ecotoxicological potential of
pharmaceutical products in the dispersion
plume of Montréal urban effluent was
documented. The working group on the
environment and wetlands officially
concluded its work with the publication of the
final report of the International Lake Ontario–
St. Lawrence River Study Board, submitted to
the IJC in March 2006. An environmental
synthesis covering water availability issues
for the St. Lawrence is being prepared and
should be published in 2006–2007.
• Sediment Remediation Projects — The
sediment remediation projects in the SaintLouis River and in Sector 103 of the Port
of Montréal, put forward by sustained
collaborative ZIP committee efforts over
several years, received the necessary
government authorizations and should get
underway in the spring of 2007. Project
development for remediation of the
contaminated aquatic site at Sandy Beach in
the Gaspé harbour area continued.
• Navigation Committee — The Navigation
Committee is continuing its collaborative
activities in the maritime environment by
applying the principles of the Sustainable
Navigation Strategy. The Committee worked
with the Ouranos Consortium, which focuses
on the anticipated effects of climate change,
to produce a discussion paper evaluating the
various adaptation options to the effects of
climate change for commercial shipping in the
event of a decrease in water levels.
• Monitoring the State of the St. Lawrence
Program — The Monitoring the State of the
St. Lawrence Program expanded its activity
to include an increased spatial coverage of its
indicators for toxic substances and certain
emerging substances, sediments in Lake
Saint-Pierre and Lake Saint-Louis, the diet
and productivity of the Northern Gannet and
contamination of freshwater fish species by
toxic substances. New indicators make it
possible to monitor land use and the benthic
communities of Lake Saint-Pierre, while
others that relate to uses, invasive plant
species, bank erosion and potential for
swimming are being developed in
collaboration with communities. Six fact
• Agriculture Projects — In the area of
agriculture, projects intended to generate
knowledge on ecological resources in farmland
areas and strategic planning aimed at
improving the quality of sensitive habitats by
reducing non-point pollution and bank erosion
have begun. Studies on the atmospheric and
aquatic dispersion of formerly and presently
used pesticides have also begun.
1.3.3 Great Lakes Program
The Government of Canada launched the Great
Lakes Action Plan in 1989 to integrate its efforts
to restore the health of the Great Lakes Basin
ecosystem. This is a coordinated effort among
federal departments to ensure that Canada’s
commitments under the Canada–United States
Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement (GLWQA)
are met. The federal Great Lakes Program has
evolved through subsequent renewals in 1994 as
Great Lakes 2000, in 2000 as Great Lakes Basin
2020, and the most recent announcement in
2005, which is focused on continuing work to
restore AOCs.
The federal Great Lakes Program is a partnership
of seven federal departments and one federal
agency, whose goals are a healthy environment,
healthy citizens, and sustainable communities.
Program partners include Agriculture and AgriFood Canada, Environment Canada, Fisheries
and Oceans Canada, Health Canada, Natural
Resources Canada, Parks Canada Agency, Public
Works and Government Services Canada, and
Transport Canada. This important coordinated
federal program significantly bolsters Canada’s
efforts to protect and restore the Great Lakes
Basin ecosystem, particularly in combination with
Environment Canada’s Great Lakes Basin
Ecosystem Initiative, which is one of five national
priority ecosystem initiatives to address and solve
complex environmental, economic, and social
In addition, the Great Lakes Basin 2020 initiative
provides $40 million over five years (i.e., $8
million annually until March 2005) to restore
environmental quality in significantly degraded
AOCs designated under the GLWQA. The
Government of Canada, in early 2005, renewed
its Great Lakes Program funding of $40 million
over five years. This funding renewal will allow
program partners to build on past achievements
to improve the ecological integrity of the Great
Lakes and continue work on the environmental
restoration of key AOCs.
Federal partner departments’ activities are
integrated with those of the province of Ontario
through the 2002 Canada–Ontario Agreement
Respecting the Great Lakes Basin Ecosystem
(COA). The governments of Canada and Ontario
signed their first COA in 1971 to demonstrate
their joint commitment to stemming the tide of
environmental degradation within the basin. The
COA has been renewed several times to reflect
new challenges and changing conditions within
the basin.
The successive COAs represent a successful
model of federal-provincial cooperation that
recognizes the shared jurisdiction surrounding
many of the issues faced within the Great Lakes
Basin, establishes common goals and results,
and coordinates actions to eliminate overlap and
optimize use of resources for maximum results.
Achievements include reduced levels of many
pollutants, improved water quality, and restored
species and their habitats.
The 2002 COA is guided by the vision of a
“healthy, prosperous, and sustainable Great
Lakes Basin for present and future generations.”
It has enabled the continuation of progress on
priority issues. Through the COA, both
governments have set out environmental
priorities and specific goals and actions for the
enhancement and preservation of the basin’s
ecosystem. The 2002 COA focuses on four
major environmental priorities that will benefit
from federal-provincial cooperation and
coordinated action. For each priority, the COA
sets out a series of desirable goals and actions
to be achieved over the five-year duration of the
agreement. The four major environmental
priorities are:
• cleanup of the remaining AOCs within the
• significant reduction or virtual elimination of
harmful pollutants within the basin;
• implementation of a series of binational
lakewide management plans to address
problems unique to each of the Great Lakes;
• improve monitoring and information
Signatories to the COA include eight federal
departments and agencies (Agriculture and AgriFood Canada, Environment Canada, Fisheries
and Oceans Canada, Health Canada, Natural
Resources Canada, Parks Canada Agency,
Public Works and Government Services Canada,
and Transport Canada) and three provincial
ministries (Ontario Ministry of the Environment,
Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, and
Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural
Progress (to March 31, 2006)
Canada and Ontario have been working
cooperatively to implement the 2002 COA. It will
take considerable time, effort, and resources to
achieve the extensive results set out in the
agreement. In 2005–2006, the fourth year of
work under the 2002 COA, over 650 projects
were underway. Steady progress has been
made in relation to all COA results.
Accomplishments in 2005–2006 included:
• Biennial Progress Report — The first biennial
Progress Report under the 2002 COA was
released in June 2005. It describes Canada’s
and Ontario’s achievements during 2002 and
2003 and highlights the roles played by local
and regional governments, industry, and
community and environmental groups in
carrying out projects that contribute to the
protection of the entire Great Lakes Basin
• COA Review — In fall 2005, Canada and
Ontario launched a review of the current COA
to assess how it has worked and how well it
has been implemented. Consultation with
Great Lakes stakeholders consisting of
surveys, interviews, and focus groups of
about 200 internal and external participants
was conducted. The review is to be
completed in spring 2006.
• Management of Contaminated Sediment —
COA agencies made great strides developing
a risk-based decision-making framework for
contaminated sediment in AOCs, with input
from international and national government
experts as well as non-government experts.
This tool will allow for scientific consensus
and pave the way for the management of
contaminated sediment, a long-standing
issue in the Great Lakes and a factor that
contributes to degraded environmental
conditions and beneficial use impairments at
numerous AOCs.
• Infrastructure Improvements — Funding
support from federal and provincial
governments enabled a new series of
infrastructure improvements, including
upgrading the Town of Nipigon’s sewage
treatment plant from primary to secondary
treatment. The Town of Nipigon is located in
the Nipigon Bay AOC.
• Dental Wastes: Best Management Practices
Guide for the Dental Community — In April
2005, a best management practices guide
was published to inform members of the
dental community on how to properly manage
hazardous wastes in order to minimize the
release of toxic substances, in particular
mercury, into the environment.
• Auto Switch-out Program — As of July 1,
2005, the Auto Switch-out Program, a
voluntary program across Canada collecting
mercury-containing switch pellets from
vehicles before they enter the waste stream,
involved more than 450 Canadian automobile
recyclers participating in the program, and
collected close to 80 000 switches.
• Burn it Smart! — In 2005–2006, over
500 people attended Burn it Smart! workshops
in Ontario. These workshops help users make
their wood-burning for heating or recreational
purposes safer, cleaner, and more efficient.
• Identifying and Developing Strategies for
Canada’s and Ontario’s Response to
Emerging Substances in the Great Lakes
Basin — A joint Canada–Ontario workshop
on emerging substances was held in March
2006 in Toronto, Ontario. Approximately
100 federal and provincial representatives
participated in the workshop. The purpose of
the workshop was to share knowledge
regarding the research, assessment and
management of emerging substances;
identify challenges and data gaps; and
discuss potential strategies and approaches
that could inform future work under the COA.
• Great Lakes Sustainability Fund — The Great
Lakes Sustainability Fund provided $5.6
million for fish and wildlife habitat
rehabilitation, contaminated sediment
management, and urban and rural
wastewater control projects. Project partners
contributed an estimated $13.5 million to 100
projects to advance restoration in the Great
Lakes AOCs.
• Great Lakes Binational Monitoring Inventory —
The Monitoring Inventory was launched as a
first step towards implementing a long-term
Information Management Strategy for
monitoring programs in the Great Lakes Basin.
Accomplishments in 2005–2006 included:
- content was exchanged between the
Great Lakes Commission and the IJC’s
Council of Great Lakes Research
Managers Inventories;
- the Council of Great Lakes Research
Managers Inventory home page now
directs contributors to the Great Lakes
Binational Monitoring Inventory if they are
submitting monitoring programs, and viceversa for research programs;
- the monitoring inventory contains 1069
entries to date;
- the monitoring inventory has been
upgraded to accept files with each project
submitted, which allows for the sharing of
maps, data, protocols, reports, and
- user privileges have been upgraded,
which allows submitters to modify their
content at any time; and,
- the inventory has been upgraded to allow
for the production of printer friendly text,
and Extensible Markup Language (XML)
based output to facilitate the sharing of
data across different information systems,
particularly systems connected via the
• Great Lakes Cooperative Monitoring Initiative
— The Great Lakes Cooperative Monitoring
Initiative attempts to address key information
needs, as identified by the Lakewide
Management Plan working groups, through
new monitoring and research on a specific
Great lake. The expertise and participation of
agency staff and academia is actively sought
in designing a program to address that need;
coordinating these new activities to the extent
possible with ongoing programs; providing
seed money and, in some cases, grants to
conduct the work; arranging for technology
transfer and sharing of equipment and
expertise; and, as necessary, arranging for
data sharing agreements. The Initiative
focuses on one lake at a time, according to a
Binational Executive Committee’s endorsed
rotational cycle. The focus for 2005 was Lake
Superior, where numerous projects were
conducted. In one project a multi-media
approach was used. Samples were collected
in air, water, lake and tributary sediments;
fish; and the lower food web. The samples
were analysed for a wide range of organic
compounds including new and emerging
chemicals, allowing scientists to look at
concentrations from the same time period in
the sampled media. Investigators also had
the opportunity to better understand the
impact of invasive species on the lower food
web. A herptile (amphibian and reptile)
monitoring pilot study was also initiated in
the Lake Superior Basin.
• Lakeviews — Lakeviews is an interoperable
system of distributed databases linked by
web services and mapping technologies,
which serves as a discovery, access,
visualization, and decision support tool for
information regarding trends in environmental
quality. It is designed to provide easy access
to environmental information using an
interactive mapping tool and provides a
snapshot of environmental programs. In
2005–2006, web services to report on
Lakewide Management Plan and State of the
Lakes Ecosystem Conference indicators were
developed and development of web-mapping
applications for these indicators were
initiated. Also, a user-interface was
developed, which will facilitate the creation
of content for the proposed web-mapping
• Great Lakes Innovation Committee — In
November 2005, the Great Lakes Innovation
Committee, a multi-stakeholder advisory
group, delivered its recommendations on
overcoming the challenge of governance as it
relates to land use and monitoring to the COA
Management Committee.
• Publications — Forest Birds in Urban Areas,
the latest in the How Much Habitat is
Enough? series, was produced to guide
habitat restoration efforts in the Great Lakes
Basin. Beyond Islands of Green: A Primer for
Using Conservation Science to Select and
Design Community-based Nature Reserves,
a report of the Ecological Gifts Program, was
also released. This report fulfills the identified
need for basic scientific guidelines to assist
non-governmental organizations in securing
or acquiring conservation lands. In addition,
the fourth Highlights Report under the Great
Lakes Wetlands Conservation Action Plan
was prepared to document and highlight
wetland conservation efforts throughout the
basin. The second in a series of educational,
curriculum-based posters titled, Wetlands
Mean Life–The Hudson and James Bay
Lowlands was also produced.
• Status of Aquatic Wildlife — Two reports on
the status of aquatic wildlife in the Niagara
River and Lake Huron were produced. These
reports will allow high priority areas in the
watersheds to be targeted for protection and
restoration. These reports will also assist in
identifying suspected source areas of
contaminants of concern, and developing
appropriate remedial measures.
• De-listing Criteria for Beneficial Use
Impairments — A technical review of the
delisting criteria for Beneficial Use
Impairments for wildlife populations was
completed for the Niagara River AOC. This
information will be used to better define the
de-listing criteria as benchmarks to assess
progress towards the restoration of use
impairments within the Niagara River
• Wildlife Health within Lake Erie — A
summary of various investigations into wildlife
health within Lake Erie was produced. This
report summarized the current state of
knowledge on the chemical concentrations of
contaminants in wildlife along with their
physiological status within the Canadian Lake
Erie AOC. These data will be incorporated
within a larger Fish and Wildlife Health
Effects and Exposure Study.
1.3.4 Northern Ecosystem Initiative
The Northern Ecosystem Initiative (NEI) was
launched in 1998 and renewed for a second fiveyear mandate in 2003. NEI supports partnershipbased efforts to improve understanding of
impacts and adaptation to climate change,
investigations of local contaminant concerns,
improved management of resource use
activities, and the development of a northern
monitoring network in support of status and trend
reporting. NEI supported projects that addressed
science and capacity-building needs throughout
the Canadian North, including Yukon, the
Northwest Territories, Nunavut, the lowlands of
northern Manitoba and Ontario, northern
Quebec, and Labrador.
The initiative is guided by the principle of
sustainable development and follows an
interdisciplinary scientific approach that also
seeks to promote the use of local and traditional
knowledge systems in combination with western
scientific knowledge and methodologies.
Progress (to March 31, 2006)
With funding support from NEI, a number of
water-related projects were underway in 2005–
• Investigation of How Great Bear Lake
Interacts with the Atmosphere in Relation to
Climate Change and Local Meterological
Events — Progress to date includes
successful field measurements at this remote
location, community-level support and
participation in the project, and a three-day
community level workshop.
• Community-led Research on Climate Change
Impacts on Drinking Water Quality in
Nunatsiavut (the Inuit land-claim region of
Labrador) — This project involves merging
scientific and traditional knowledge. Progress
to date includes the initial scoping of key
water issues at the community level,
completion of the first series of water
microbiological analyses, and development of
a questionnaire.
• Multi-year Project to Develop Tools for
Setting Thresholds and Ensuring the
Sustainable Development of Freshwaters in
Canada’s North — Initial results are
consistent with model predictions regarding
the relationship between land use activities,
water quality, and benthic communities in the
studied northern lakes.
• Multi-year Study on Better Understanding
Climate-driven Trends in Freshwater Systems
(Physical, Biological, Geochemical) and
Evaluation and Refinement of Selected
Indicators for Ongoing Monitoring — The
study will contribute to a network of key
representative freshwater sites for intercomparative process and modelling studies in
Canada’s North and larger circumpolar north.
Work to date has focused on the Mackenzie
Delta Region in the Northwest Territories.
Initial results indicate permafrost degradation
is introducing a significant and distinct supply
of carbon to the study lakes, although more
work is needed. Also, the scope of the study
has been expanded to include more lakes
due to the degree of variation among lakes.
• Multi-year Study Investigating Potential
Linkages Between a Warming Climate and
Increased Levels of Mercury in Northern
Biota — The study involves the analysis of
mercury and other toxic metals in archived
and newly collected landlocked Arctic Char
from lakes in Canada’s North. The project
continues to expand the locations and
numbers of landlocked char collected and
analyzed. Results are indicating that mercury
and selenium concentrations are relatively
high in comparison to other metals such as
cadmium and lead.
• Two-year Study Investigating Mercury Levels
in Lake Trout from Nunavik, Northern Quebec
— This study is investigating mercury
chemical concentration in lake trout and the
potential related risk exposure to
• Two-year Study to Collect and Disseminate
Information on Waste Management and
Contaminated Sites within the Yukon River
Watershed — With the study completed,
results included new information about
previously known contaminated sites and the
identification of 22 new sites of concern
among nearby First Nations communities.
The new information was incorporated into
maps and helped update an existing
1.3.5 Georgia Basin Action Plan
The federal-provincial Georgia Basin Action Plan
(2003–2008) was announced on April 2, 2003,
and is a renewal of the Georgia Basin
Ecosystem Initiative (1998–2003). The Georgia
Basin Action Plan is built upon a vision of
“healthy, productive, and sustainable
ecosystems and communities in the Georgia
Basin” that is shared by Environment Canada,
Coast Salish First Nations, Fisheries and
Oceans Canada, Parks Canada Agency, and the
British Columbia Ministry of Environment. The
Georgia Basin Action Plan focuses on the
following departmental priorities as they pertain
to clean water:
• conservation and protection of habitats and
• reduction of pollutants (including persistent
organic pollutants and other toxics) in
municipal wastewater and in urban and
agricultural non-point sources;
• remediation of shellfish growing areas; and
• development and transfer of science, tools,
and knowledge to support improved decisionmaking towards sustainability in the Georgia
Regional and transboundary relationships were
strengthened through the Georgia Basin Action
Plan. Examples include the Environment
Canada–U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Joint Statement of Cooperation on the Georgia
Basin and Puget Sound Ecosystem, the Fraser
Basin Council, the Coast Salish Sea Initiative,
the Pacific Coast Joint Venture, and the
emerging Biodiversity Conservation Strategy for
the Greater Vancouver Regional District.
Progress (to March 31, 2006)
Accomplishments in 2005–2006 included:
• Stream Condition Assessment — The CABIN
approach continues to be implemented and
expanded in the region and the country for
assessing aquatic ecosystem health. This
approach is based on assessing the structure
of stream benthic communities. Sixteen sites
were sampled in 2005. Twelve of these sites
were re-sampled for within-season and
within-site variation to better understand
variability in the biological assessments. The
relationship between water quality
assessment based on physical-chemical
measurements and CABIN was evaluated for
selected sites in the Georgia Basin area.
There was agreement in assessment (i.e.
good or fair water quality) among most sites.
Sites that resulted in a different assessment
with the CABIN approach indicated that the
biological community was reacting to
variables not considered in the Water Quality
Index. This initial comparison indicates the
value of using both physical-chemical and
biological variables in assessing ecosystem
condition. Adoption of the CABIN approach
was promoted through training workshops,
presentations, and advice to various
interested groups and agencies. The
agreement between Environment Canada
and the North American Benthological
Society to develop and sustain a bi-national
Taxonomic Certification Program was
continued, with other contributors, such as
the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
and the U.S. Geological Survey.
• Abbotsford Aquifer Groundwater Monitoring
— Groundwater samples taken from 23
locations in the Abbotsford aquifer were
monitored monthly for nitrate from non-point
source pollution. Non-point source pollution
cannot be pinpointed to a source, but
includes manure, fertilizer, or pesticides
applied to farm fields; oil leaks from cars; and
household cleaners that seep into
groundwater, rivers, and creeks. Elevated
nitrate concentrations have been measured
for many years at locations in the aquifer.
Recent results from the monitoring program
are available on Environment Canada–Pacific
and Yukon Region’s Environmental Indicators
website at
region/nitrate/nitrate_e.cfm and on the water
quality website at
Since 1996, Environment Canada has
implemented, in partnership with other
federal, provincial, and municipal agencies,
projects to educate the public on groundwater
stewardship. The Department supported a
multi-stakeholder survey of the nutrient status
of Fraser Valley agricultural soils in 2005,
which included berry fields on the aquifer.
Environment Canada is currently working with
researchers at Simon Fraser University to
develop a model that will be used to assess
the environmental impacts of land use
practices and land management strategies.
Phase One was a groundwater flow model,
and Phase Two models contaminant
transport in the groundwater. Environment
Canada continues to work with other
agencies and stakeholders to prevent nitrate
contamination of the aquifer.
• — The waterbucket website
( has made great
progress since 2004–2005. The website is a
partnership initiative led by the Water
Sustainability Committee of the British
Columbia Water and Waste Association. The
site is stand-alone, yet is hosted by and
integrated with the Stewardship Centre for
British Columbia website. The Centre is part
of a national coalition of government and nongovernment organizations that functions
under the Stewardship Canada umbrella. The
website is designed to provide the complete
story on integrated water management —
why, what, where and how — with the
objective of being a "Water Portal for British
Columbia." It publicizes case studies,
success stories, tools, and lessons learned
from partnership initiatives.
The site has developed seven Communities
of Interest, which evolve to discuss and
communicate ideas around a specific issue.
Communities of Interest include Water
Centric Planning, Water Use and
Conservation, Rainwater Management,
Green Infrastructure, Agriculture and Water,
Convening for Action and the Water
Sustainability Committee. Each Community of
Interest is a self-managing website that
provides easy access to a variety of
information modules. This dynamic
information source is developed on a
collaborative, non-proprietary site that allows
emerging communities to leverage the
investment of existing partners, and use
communication and web development
resources effectively.
• Watershed Modelling — A modelling
approach that will result in predictive
scenarios of stream flow and water quality is
being developed and evaluated to support
local decision-making on small watersheds.
Hydrologic modelling has begun for two
watersheds in the Saanich Inlet on
Vancouver Island and three streams in the
Lower Fraser Valley. Algorithms for a
predictive water temperature sub-model
and for a predictive fecal coliform submodel have been designed.
• Monitoring the Performance of Stormwater
Source Controls in the Silver Maples
Subdivision — The year 2005–2006 was the
second year of a three-year project to monitor
the performance of stormwater source
controls in a residential development located
in the subdivision of Maple Ridge. The project
monitors the hydrologic performance of an
integrated system of rain gardens, infiltration
swales (ditches or channels with permeable
soils that permit infiltration into groundwater),
and detention facilities (storage ponds)
installed as stormwater source controls in a
393-unit residential subdivision. The site
drains to Anderson Creek and Blaney Bog,
both of which are considered environmentally
sensitive. The source controls have been
designed as an alternative to conventional
curb-and-gutter stormwater systems and are
designed to achieve runoff volume reduction
targets established in the provincial
Stormwater Planning Guidebook. Preliminary
results suggest that the combination of
source controls is reducing the runoff
volumes from the subdivision through base
and storm events. Comprehensive findings
will be provided once the final year of
monitoring in 2006–2007 is complete.
• Municipal Wastewater Impacts from Greater
Vancouver Regional District and Capital
Regional District–Emerging Chemicals of
Concern — Municipal wastewater samples
were taken at key outfall sites in the Greater
Vancouver Regional District and Capital
Regional District. Analysis is ongoing to
determine emerging chemicals of concern
(e.g. pharmaceuticals, toxic chemicals) and
their impacts on marine, freshwater, and
terrestrial resources in the Georgia Basin.
2. Water Research
This section describes selected research
activities conducted by the Water Science and
Technology Directorate; St. Lawrence Centre;
Pacific Environmental Science Centre; as well as
other research highlights.
Canadian and global freshwater problems, and
restore damaged sediments, lakes, rivers,
groundwater, and wetlands. A primary goal is to
make timely water science information available
to science users, providing the targeted research
results needed by environmental policy-makers
and managers to address specific environmental
Progress (to March 31, 2006)
Environment Canada Water Research Benefits
Environment Canada's water science and
technology provides the environmental
information essential for development of
regulations, guidelines, policies, and
international agreements. These, in turn, bring
tangible economic and health benefits to
Canadians. The publication, Research into
Action to Benefit Canadians, (
researchintoaction/intro-e.html) details of some
of the areas where benefits have been achieved:
• Protecting the Environment from Acid Rain;
• Reducing Nutrient Impacts on the
• Pesticides – The Case of Tributyltin (TBT);
• Persistent Organic Pollutants – The
Stockholm Convention;
• Road Drainage – Securing Public Safety,
Economic Competitiveness and Enhancing
Environmental Sustainability;
2.1 Water Science and Technology
• Taste and Odour in Drinking Water;
• Pharmaceuticals in the Environment – An
Emerging Threat?;
In 2005–2006, the NWRI and other water
science and technology groups in Environment
Canada joined together to form the new Water
Science and Technology Directorate. The Water
Science and Technology Directorate leads
initiatives across the country to protect and
sustain Canada’s aquatic ecosystems, aquatic
biodiversity, and the quality and quantity of
Canadian water resources. The Directorate
collaborates with partners from governments,
universities, and the private sector to confront
• Zebra Mussels, Nutrients and the "Dead
Zone" – The Great Lakes Debate;
• Flame Retarding Chemicals – A Cause for
Environmental Concern;
• Quenching the Peace–Athabasca Delta; and
• Sediment Remediation Technology.
A Decade of Pulp and Paper Environmental
Monitoring Results Published
In 2005, the National Environmental Effects
Monitoring Office released the fifth report in the
NWRI Scientific Assessment Report Series,
National Assessment of Pulp and Paper
Environmental Effects Monitoring Data: Findings
from Cycles 1 through 3. Pronounced
improvements in effluent quality were observed
during the early- to mid-1990s, although some
effects continue to be measured in receiving
environments. The field survey response
patterns observed for effluent-exposed fish and
benthic invertebrates have shown a high degree
of consistency over the last decade, with the
predominant effect being one of nutrient
enrichment, and reductions in gonad size in fish.
Efforts are currently underway to better
understand and address these effects.
to drinking water occurred in Canada. Water
Science and Technology Directorate researchers
with expertise in this field are leading the
National Agri-Environmental Standards Initiative
waterborne pathogen research team, composed
of scientists from Agriculture and Agri-Food
Canada, Health Canada, Environment Canada,
and the province of Alberta.
Over the next three years, they will develop
national standards for waterborne pathogens in
agricultural watersheds across Canada, based
on evaluation of microbial water quality
indicators for predicting the occurrence of
waterborne pathogens. In 2005–2006, they
began research in three watersheds: Little Bow,
Alberta; South Nation, Ontario; and Bras
D'Henri, Quebec. (
Science to Sustain the Great Lakes
War on Waterborne Pathogens
• Bi-national Indicator Project with the U.S.
Fish and Wildlife Service — NWRI became
co-chair of a bi-national project team working
on aquatic ecosystem indicators in the Detroit
River–Western Lake Erie area. The team will
compile and interpret long-term data,
translate the information into understandable
terms for policy-makers and managers, and
make these indicator data and trends
readily available to the public. The report,
Contaminants in Western Lake Erie
Sediments, has been adopted as an
indicator, providing an overview of NWRI
research on spatial distribution and long-term
trends in contaminants in sediments in
western Lake Erie and the Detroit River
corridor. These programs have contributed to
an increased understanding of sources of
toxics in western Lake Erie, and have
assisted in assessing the effectiveness of
management actions to reduce the presence
of these compounds in the environment. A
description of the project, the current partners
and the five available indicator reports (three
of which came from Canadian sources) can
be found at
indicators/index.html. An additional
17 indicator reports are anticipated.
Pathogens are disease-causing micro-organisms
that can enter the water supply from sources
such as municipal wastewater and agricultural
wastes. Between 1974 and 1996, more than 200
reported outbreaks of infectious diseases related
• Bacteria on the Beaches — Researchers
from NWRI are working with provincial and
local governments, conservation authorities,
and environmental associations to
investigate the problems of bacteria and
Water and Agriculture — Protection,
Sustainability, and Economic Value
Environment Canada is one of the federal
partners in a new three-year project designed to
improve our understanding of the environmental
role and economic value of wetlands and riparian
zones in agricultural landscapes across Canada.
Led by Ducks Unlimited Canada, and conducted
under the Advancing Canadian Agriculture and
Agri-Food Program, the project entitled,
Management of Agricultural Landscapes with
Wetlands and Riparian Zones: Economic and
Greenhouse Gas Implications, involves a
consortium of academic, government, and
conservation group partners in five provinces:
Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, and
Nova Scotia.
Ultimately, the project will support agricultural
sustainability by increasing our capacity to
assess the environmental and economic
performance of agricultural management
practices and respond to environmental issues
through practices, programs, and policy.
beach closures throughout the Great Lakes.
In summer of 2005, for example, a study
showed that high numbers of fecal coliform,
often above the Provincial Recreational
Water Quality Guidelines occurred in the
nearshore waters along the Tiny Township
Beaches, Georgian Bay. Results indicated
that the source may be located at the
beach-lake-groundwater interface, rather
than within the watershed or away from the
beach. Research on this problem will
continue at various locations throughout
the Great Lakes.
• Is Urban Runoff a Cause of Noxious Shoreline
Algae? — For several years, shorelines of
Lake Ontario have been plagued by
accumulations of odorous, filamentous algae.
Research at University of Waterloo and NWRI
showed alien mussels are now recycling
nutrients in a way that makes the lakeshore
more sensitive to nutrients that stimulate algae.
NWRI studies showed elevated levels of
nutrients near the shore in the spring, just
when the algae begin their growth. Moreover,
the nutrients were associated with salt, an
indication of urban runoff.
This year, researchers helped Halton Region
design a study of some of the 100 drains
discharging into the lake from Halton and
confirmed that the phosphorus load from
urban runoff is as large as that from sewage
plants. In addition, much of the load is at
potentially damaging concentrations and
released at the most damaging place: the
shoreline. The costs of treatment for urban
runoff nutrients would be very large; offshore
discharge might help. Reduction of fertilizer
usage may be the best, first action. These
considerations are being further examined to
aid local government in deciding on a path
• Contaminants in Siskiwit Lake — As part of
the U.S.–Canada Cooperative Monitoring
Program, NWRI researchers and partners
began a new study of Siskiwit Lake, the
largest lake on Isle Royale in Lake Superior.
It receives contaminants solely by long-range
atmospheric transport and deposition and has
no development on its shores. Siskiwit Lake
has served as a background site for previous
work by several research groups on a wide
range of contaminants, including dioxins,
toxaphene, and polycyclic aromatic
hydrocarbons. Samples of water, sediment
cores, and biota will be analyzed for
pollutants identified under the Lakewide
Management Plan and emerging
contaminants. Preliminary results were
made available in April 2006.
• Transfer of the Great Lakes Fish
Contaminants Surveillance Program — A
Letter of Understanding was signed by
Environment Canada and Fisheries and
Oceans Canada to transfer the Great Lakes
Fish Contaminants Surveillance Program to
Environment Canada, as part of the Great
Lakes Studies Section. This program will
complement Environment Canada’s ongoing
toxic chemical monitoring programs in air,
water, sediment, and wildlife in the Great
Lakes Basin.
2.2 St. Lawrence Centre
The St. Lawrence Centre has carried out a
number of major studies since 1993 on the
state of the St. Lawrence River ecosystem,
including water quality monitoring and a mass
balance study of chemical contaminants. In
December 1998, a new strategic plan for
research was approved and implemented. In
2002–2003, the plan was reviewed and
updated and the Centre introduced a new
program that is focusing on the evaluation of
urban effluents, in-depth understanding of
environmental stress impacts on the
biodiversity of the St. Lawrence River, and the
long-term monitoring of the state of the river.
This year, the St. Lawrence Centre has
evolved towards a new structure that is more
consistent with new national directions.
Progress (to March 31, 2006)
In 2005–2006, work concluded on the impacts of
water-level changes related to regulation of Lake
Ontario and the St. Lawrence River. An initial
summary of water availability issues was
prepared and should be completed in 2006–
2007. This summary will comprise various
chapters, including one broken down by major
ecological components (e.g. aquatic plants, fish,
amphibians, hydrology, uses), and a discussion
of current water availability issues for the
St. Lawrence River (freshwater).
Three regulation options were evaluated in
collaboration with the Ontario Region and United
States partners, in support of the IJC decisionmaking. The final report and its annexes were
published in March 2006.
Fluvial Biodiversity
Two studies were conducted and published in
• impact of physical variables on algal biomass
density; and
The Quebec and Ontario Regions initiated an
environmental study on the project to redevelop
the St. Lawrence Seaway through the Great
Lakes and the St. Lawrence River.
• discovery and identification of a new,
potentially invasive introduced species.
State of the St. Lawrence River
Urban Pollution
Activities related to the state of the St. Lawrence
were carried out through federal-provincial
collaboration involving long-term monitoring of
the main environmental components of the
St. Lawrence River system.
In 2005–2006, new data were collected in
collaboration with the Montréal Metropolitan
Community. Work accomplished included:
In 2005–2006, Environment Canada developed
a new communication tool—a series of
travelling display booths on the state of the
St. Lawrence. This initiative was developed in
response to a request from the communities
and required the collaboration of the
Water quality, wetland, and sediment
monitoring continued and the area of data
collection expanded in certain cases.
Environment Canada, in close collaboration
with the Department of Sustainable
Development, Environment and Parks,
contributed to the first CESI report with
respect to water quality.
With regard to sediments, an initial historical
database on the geochemistry of St. Lawrence
sediments was completed and made available
online. This database made it possible to recover
and revalidate data from various sources within
Environment Canada.
In the case of wetlands, a 30-year assessment
was completed based on previous studies of
wetland areas and types. In addition, community
representatives were involved in initial field work
focusing on invasive plants in aquatic and semiaquatic environments.
The first information campaign was conducted
on a consolidated network of sampling stations
for the CABIN indicator for benthic communities
in Lake Saint-Pierre.
• evaluation of the contribution of urban
effluents to the metal load in the St. Lawrence
as well as the fate and bioavailability of these
substances in the river;
• exposure of mussels to urban effluents in a
tributary with primary treatment to determine
toxic and endocrine effects;
• combined effects of parasitism and pollution
on fish physiology (yellow perch and yellow
walleye); and
• study of parasitism linked to swimmers’
New projects have also focused on pollution
from agricultural watersheds:
• detection of toxins and a genetically modified
variety of Bacillus thuringiensis, a pesticide.
• persistence of transgenic corn genes in
aquatic environments; and
• risks and impacts of avermectines
(antiparasitic substances) on freshwater
The ongoing Urban Effluents Program at the St.
Lawrence Centre is leading projects related to
new environmental issues carried out in
cooperation with the Montréal Metropolitan
Community, the Institut national de recherche
sur les eaux–Institut Armand-Frappier, and the
Government of Quebec (Quebec Ministry of the
Environment and Société de la faune et des
parcs du Québec. Concordia University, the
Université de Montréal, and the Université du
Québec à Montréal were also involved. A
partnership was consolidated this year, with the
Réseau de recherche en écotoxicologie du
Saint-Laurent, including cooperation with the
Maurice Lamontagne Institute (Mont-Joli) and
the Institut scientifique des Sciences de la mer
(Université du Québec à Rimouski) to facilitate
the integration of approaches in freshwater and
marine environments. There were also
collaborations with NWRI, the Institute for Inland
Fisheries in Potsdam-Sacrow, Germany, St.
Mary’s University in Halifax, the University of
Waterloo, Environment Canada’s Moncton office,
and the National Wildlife Research Centre in
2.3 Pacific Environmental Science Centre
Long-range Transport of Airborne Pollutants
A particular focus of these studies has been the
emerging toxicological issue of endocrine
disruptor effects on fish as a result of exposure
to low level concentrations of pharmaceuticals
and personal care products in water bodies.
Effluents and receiving waters were tested to
measure biological genetic effects on fish using
the state-of-science gene microarray technology
(genomics). Chemical analysis profiling to
determine concentrations of acid-based drugs,
antibiotics, estrogenic compounds, and
fragrance compounds has always been
conducted in parallel with the assessment of
biological response endpoints. Results from
these studies will determine if receiving water
concentrations of effluent are capable of causing
genomic level effects in fish. Resulting chemical
changes, either depression or increases in
genetic signals can be used as an indicator or
predictor of deleterious effects at the genomic
level. The studies were conducted in cooperation
with the Capital Regional District of Victoria and
the Greater Vancouver Regional District. Fish
exposure testing on the above effluents was
completed and the genomic analysis of the
various tissues is underway. Preliminary gene
array data has been shared with Capital
Regional District of Victoria and the Greater
Vancouver Regional District.
In 2005–2006, the St. Lawrence Centre was
heavily involved in preparing a national report on
acid rain. A chapter on the effects on forests and
watershed soil was drafted. The Centre also
contributed to the chapter on the effect of acid
rain on the quality of lake water. It has also
begun studies on atmospheric distribution of
mercury and pesticides used in agriculture.
Under a program to study the impacts of water
level fluctuations, research projects were
completed with the Quebec provincial
government (Société de la faune et des parcs du
Québec), universities (Université de Montréal
and Université du Québec à Montréal), and
Environment Canada (St. Lawrence Centre,
Meteorological Service of Canada, and the
Canadian Wildlife Service). Close scientific
cooperation also exists with Environment
Canada–Ontario Region in order to give direction
to next steps following the current review of the
Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River regulation
With respect to biodiversity, many partnerships
have been established in the various research
areas with Quebec universities (McGill, Laval,
Université de Montréal, Université du Québec à
Montréal, and Université du Québec à TroisRivières). Post-graduate students have continued
to take part in the development of research and, in
doing so, have increased their expertise. The
Pesticide Science Fund has also contributed.
The Pacific Environmental Science Centre of
Environment Canada’s Science and Technology
Branch conducted a number of studies since
2003 on the toxicology and chemistry of fresh
and marine water in the Georgia Basin. As
projects under the Georgia Basin Action Plan,
these studies have focused on emerging
environmental concerns to water, such as
endocrine disruptor effects on aquatic organisms
as a result of exposure to varying concentrations
of municipal, agricultural, and industrial effluents.
Progress (to March 31, 2006)
The Pacific Environmental Science Centre
laboratory is also working with the University of
Victoria to study amphibian-based molecular
effects of effluents on thyroid hormone action.
This work is supported by a Natural Sciences
and Engineering Research Council strategic
grant. Studies have included the genomic
effects, at receiving water concentrations, of
select pharmaceuticals and personal care
products such as the bactericidal agent triclosan,
and the fragrance compound galaxoide.
site-specific guidelines must be developed.
Additional work is scheduled for 2006–2007
using chromium as the target element.
2.4 Other Research Highlights
Ongoing and new research programs include the
following activities:
• Bacterial Source Tracking in Marine and
Freshwater Systems — Using a DNA-based
method, samples from fresh and marine
water from locations in British Columbia are
tested to identify sources of fecal
contamination. This unique water quality tool
helps pollution abatement managers at
Environment Canada’s Marine Water Quality
Monitoring Program, British Columbia
Ministry of Environment, First Nations, Capital
Regional District in Victoria, Nova Scotia
Department of Environment, Department of
Fisheries and Oceans in Newfoundland and
Labrador and several regional health
authorities to determine sources of fecal
contamination. This is the final year of a
three-year project in collaboration with
researchers at the University of Victoria under
a Canadian Institutes of Health Research
grant to further develop the method. A report
is being prepared on work done at Saltspring
Island and the Okanagan Valley.
• Validation of the Water Effects Ratio and Biotic
Ligand Model Approach — This study involved
the collection of Sumas River water and well
water from the Pacific Environmental Science
Centre and spiking each with concentrations of
copper corresponding to water quality criteria
concentrations prescribed by the Canadian
Council of Ministers of the Environment
(CCME), British Columbia Ministry of
Environment, and federal site-specific criteria.
Several acute and chronic freshwater
toxicological tests were conducted using
concentrations bracketing the above values.
Analytical chemistry was also conducted in
tandem with the bioassays. The site-specific
guidelines will be used in the calculation of the
CCME Water Quality Index, which is used for
reporting nationally on water quality in the
Canadian Environmental Sustainability
Indicator reports. The Water Quality Index is
calculated by comparing concentrations of key
water quality parameters to guidelines for the
protection of aquatic life. At some sites, the
national CCME guidelines are not appropriate
because of unique background conditions and
Environment Canada conducts many waterrelated investigations in addition to the research
undertaken at the major institutes.
Interdisciplinary studies or projects are often
fostered in partnership with educational
institutions, or the institutes or agencies of other
governments and federal departments.
This section highlights examples of water
research activities not reported elsewhere in the
text. Although not comprehensive, the selections
are representative of some of the activities being
2.4.1 Hydrometeorology and Arctic
The Hydrometeorology and Arctic Laboratory
(HAL) officially began operating in Environment
Canada’s Prairie and Northern Region on April 1,
2004. The lab is co-located with NWRI in
Much of the activity in the laboratory during the
previous 18 months has been devoted to putting
the required infrastructure in place and in staffing
A science plan for the laboratory was developed
during the spring and summer of 2005, which
outlines five key areas for research and
development during the next few years. The
five key areas and accomplishments in 2005–
2006 are:
• Improve Development and Use of
Hydrometeorological Products and/or
Applications — A prototype website has been
set up and HAL, along with the Water Survey
of Canada, is making data available to a
select group of clients.
• Develop and Implement a Coupled
(Atmospheric-Hydrological) Model — Model
development is still underway in Saskatoon
and Montréal. Test runs within the Great
Lakes Basin were held using an ensemble
prediction system to improve the accuracy of
forecasts. An ensemble prediction system
involves multiple predictions from a group of
slightly different initial conditions and/or
various versions of computer models.
Ensembles can be used by forecasters as a
tool to help measure the probability or
likelihood of a forecast.
dominated watersheds at the scale of the current
Numerical Weather Prediction system which is
15 kilometres. The model will be applied to a
specific watershed: the South Saskatchewan
River Basin.
• Improve Land Surface and Hydrological
Predictions — Developed a working team to
look at prediction in ungauged basins,
including directing efforts within the Water
Survey of Canada towards a Monitoring
Research Basin Network.
2.4.2 Integrated Modeling of the St. Lawrence
• Improve Representation of the Land Surface
in Coupled Atmospheric-Hydrological Models
— Ongoing collaboration with NWRI
scientists focused on snow processes,
scaling, and lateral transport of water in
Inuvik, Y.T., and Baker Creek, N.W.T.
• Improve Understanding of the Land Surface
and Atmospheric Components of the
Hydrologic Cycle to Aid in the Prediction of
High Impact Weather — HAL is participating
in the Drought Research Initiative; the
National Agri-Environmental Standards
Initiative water availability programs focused
on the South Saskatchewan Basin; and
improved algorithms for radar-precipitation
estimates over the Prairies.
As part of improving the understanding of the
land-surface component of the hydrologic cycle,
HAL will provide support to the Drought
Research Initiative. This is a multi-year research
program funded by the Canadian Foundation for
Climate and Atmospheric Science and
undertaken by a consortium of Canadian
universities to examine all aspects of drought
across the Canadian Prairies. In its first stage, it
will examine the recent drought and attempt to
characterize its features, understand its large
scale and internal structure, and provide
guidance to the prediction community for later
HAL will also focus on a program funded by the
National Agri-Environmental Standards Initiative
that is assessing water availability in the South
Saskatchewan River Basin using the current
suite of coupled atmospheric hydrological
models. The water availability sub-component
focuses on the development and testing of a
framework to predict available water supplies,
including precipitation, snowmelt, soil moisture
and surface water availability, in agriculturally-
Since 1997, the Hydrology Section of the
Meteorological Service of Canada–Quebec
Region has been working with partners on
numerical modeling of the St. Lawrence River
between Cornwall and Trois-Rivières. The
models provide a better understanding of the
physical and biotic environment of the river and
how it is used. This work is part of an effort to
understand the interactions that exist among the
• Pressures resulting from climate change and
from natural and anthropogenic changes (e.g.
hydro-electric developments and construction
of port infrastructures). With the
implementation of the website of Quebec’s
climate change impacts and adaptation
resource centre ( in 2000, it
is possible to more closely monitor climate
change in Quebec, and more specifically in
the St. Lawrence watershed;
• Physical characteristics of the river
environment (e.g. flows, levels, currents,
temperatures, substrates, and banks);
• Chemical characteristics of the water (e.g.
turbidity, colour, and presence of pollutants);
• Life in the river environment, whether it be
human (social, economic, or recreational
use), plant (aquatic or emergent vegetation),
or animal (aquatic and riparian wildlife).
In the context of this approach, the physical
environment of the river is considered the focal
point of exchanges within the ecosystem. The
approach lends itself well to quantification of the
impacts of fluctuating flow and water levels on
the various ecosystem components in the
St. Lawrence River.
In its research and development of the
St. Lawrence River ecosystem, the Hydrology
Section of the Meteorological Service of
Canada–Quebec Region collaborates with
several organizations, including the Société de la
faune et des parcs du Québec, the Quebec
Ministry of the Environment (Water Medium
Directorate), the regional branches of
Environment Canada (Conservation Branch,
Canadian Wildlife Service, St. Lawrence Centre),
the Canadian Coast Guard (Laurentian Region),
universities (Université du Québec à TroisRivières, Institut national de recherche
scientifique–Eau, et École Polytechnique), and
the IJC.
Progress (to March 31, 2006)
In 2005–2006, the development of a fluvial
hydrodynamic model for diverse hydrological
conditions was continued. The hydrodynamic
model was refined to improve the integration of
aquatic plants and wetlands impacts on flow.
The calibration of a transport-diffusion sub-model
has been undertaken for use with the model
simulating the sedimentation of fine material and
water temperature. A variety of simulations
under different conditions were undertaken
based on previous model development.
An ecosystem response model was developed
by integrating physical modeling, and biological
data, and was used for estimating the changes
on the ecosystem due to changes in the
discharge regulation. Following this
development, in collaboration with many federal
and provincial partners, the IJC assessed a
variety of regulation options related to impacts of
flow management of the St. Lawrence River.
2.4.3 Climate Change, Impacts, and
In 2005–2006, an initial series of specific studies
was carried out on water level conditions that are
critical to commercial shipping and to a certain
number of potential adaptation options to the
effects of climate change. The purpose of this
work was to provide the St. Lawrence Plan
Navigation Consensus Building Committee with
technical and scientific support. Research
studies on the impacts of varying water levels on
aquatic ecosystems produced interesting results
that are useful to climate change issues.
An integrated river basin water management
(planning) model has been developed and
implemented for the South Saskatchewan River
Basin as a pilot case. The model uses socioeconomic, physical, and climatic data, as well as
policy options to project future water demands.
These demands are then integrated with
projections of future water supplies for basin
water budget assessment. The vulnerability of
the water resources of the basin to any long-term
changes in the climate is determined through
integration of the resulting changes in water
demand and water supply. This work is being
expanded under the National Agri-Environment
Standards Initiative, in collaboration with the
Canadian Meteorological Centre and NWR, with
the aim of producing a cutting-edge technology
that allows for the prediction of future water
availability at the basin level for given climate
2.4.4 Quebec Region – Atmospheric Mercury
As part of an action plan to measure mercury in
precipitation, an agreement was reached
between Environment Canada and the Quebec
Ministry of the Environment (2001–2004) at the
request of the Conference of New England
Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers. The
agreement was extended for 2005–2006. Under
the agreement, mercury is measured in
precipitation in Quebec at two sites along the St.
Lawrence River, Saint-Anicet and Mingan, and
also at a station in the north, Kuujjuarapik. The
measurements will be incorporated into the
North American Mercury Deposition Network.
An analysis was performed on data from a
number of atmospheric monitoring stations to
evaluate spatial and temporal trends of
precipitation and mercury deposition. Data were
used from 13 stations in the National
Atmospheric Deposition Program, Mercury
Monitor Network (MMN) (1996–2002), and an
event-based monitoring site near Underhill,
Vermont (1993–2002). More precipitation and
mercury deposition occurred in the southern and
coastal MMN sites, except for the Underhill site,
which received more mercury deposition than
surrounding sites. Regionally, higher
concentrations of mercury were recorded during
the late spring and summer months. High
precipitation periods contributed significantly to
annual loads, at times up to 60 percent.
Southern and coastal sites measured more
frequent periods of high deposition than inland
sites. Recent regional reductions of mercury
emissions were not reflected in the regional
mercury concentrations or deposition data. Most
sites did not show a linear relationship between
the concentration of mercury in precipitation and
acid rain co-contaminants, i.e., sulphates and
(Part IV of the Canada Water Act)
Background /Progress (to March 31, 2006)
1. Freshwater Website
The Freshwater Website (
continues to provide basic information on a wide
range of water-related topics, comprehensive
educational materials (e.g. water fact sheets, A
Primer on Fresh Water, Explore Water with Holly
Heron, and Let's Not Take Water for Granted —
A Resource Guide), and the full text of key water
publications (e.g. the Federal Water Policy, the
Canada Water Act Annual Report, and reports
on water use and pricing). In addition, the links to
specific issues at other governmental and nongovernmental sites across the country continue
to be regularly updated and expanded, as does
the calendar of water-related conferences and
The “Water Policy and Legislation” section of the
website underwent a major revision and update,
and included the addition of new content on the
Federal House and the First Nations Water
Management Strategy.
The site is heavily used (averaging over
106 000 visits each month) and is often
referenced on other websites and in print
material produced by other agencies.
2. Water Survey of Canada Website
The Water Survey of Canada is the national
agency responsible for the collection,
interpretation, and dissemination of standardized
water resource data and information in Canada.
In the case of Quebec, the province collects
water resource data for the Water Survey of
Canada. The Water Survey of Canada plays a
major role in the activities of numerous
international and interprovincial boards and
commissions involved in the management of
Canada’s water resources. It is the designated
agency responsible for water resource
monitoring in support of interjurisdictional
agreements and treaties.
Each year, Environment Canada produces a
national HYDAT CD-ROM, which provides
access to the National Water Data Archive. The
archive contains daily, monthly, and
instantaneous (peak)data for stream flow, water
level, and sediment data for over 2500 active
and 5500 discontinued hydrometric monitoring
stations across Canada. Using a Windowsbased software interface, users have the ability
to retrieve, view, subset, download, and print
selected data from the CD-ROM. The HYDAT
software page contains tips for users, answers to
frequently asked questions, and information on
the latest version of the software. The data
contained on HYDAT can also be downloaded
directly from the Water Survey of Canada
website (
3. Environment Canada’s Biosphère
Environment Canada’s Biosphère is an
interpretation centre designed to help young
Canadians become aware of water and
ecosystem issues in the Great Lakes and the
St. Lawrence. In 2005–2006, 54 000 visitors,
including 23 000 children, took part in
educational programs or toured exhibitions.
Environment Canada’s Biosphère maintained its
museum-related activities by offering the
exhibitions “Moving Giant” and “Water Wonders!”
It also added two photo exhibitions related to
water — one on the beauties of the St. Lawrence
with l’Escale nautique, a recreational boating
journal, and the other on the voyage of the
Canadian vessel Amundsen in the Arctic.
The Biosphère also began to reflect on the
scope of its actions and programs, which were
initially planned mainly for the Quebec Region.
The basis for a national Biosphère, with partners
and activities from all regions of Canada, is
being planned for the future.
4. RésEau – Building Canadian Water
The RésEau prototype
was launched in March 2006. Water data are
now accessible online through one portal which
includes a selection of federal government
monitoring programs for water quality and
quantity, as well as programs on groundwater
availability, groundwater contamination, water
use, and water and human health (disease
outbreaks). In addition, data has been made
available from a network of 16 partner groups
including provinces, non-governmental
organizations, community groups and high
The RésEau portal provides pre-defined maps
for general users, as well as search and query
functions that create dynamic maps in real time
for more advanced users. A module called
“Know Your Watershed” allows Canadians to
easily discover which watershed they live in and
find customized watershed profiles to learn more
about water-related activities in their area.
5. Canadian Digital Drainage Area Framework
A partnership between Environment Canada,
Statistics Canada, Natural Resources Canada,
and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada was
initiated in 2001 to collaborate on the
development of the Canadian Digital Drainage
Area Framework. The framework is a spatial
database consisting of several layers of
hydrological features, including rivers, lakes, and
watershed boundaries, that is designed to
support water-related research and analysis.
The framework was released online in June
2003, the result of nearly three years of federal
collaboration and consultation with several
provincial agencies. This national framework is a
welcome tool for the planning, analysis, and
management of environmental monitoring
networks and is also an excellent means of
reporting data, information, and knowledge about
watersheds at regional, national, and even
continental scales. The data can be easily
imported into standard geographic information
system. The framework is being maintained by
the Natural Resources Canada and is available
6. Pacific and Yukon Region
The Water Quality Monitoring Office, Science
and Technology Branch encouraged
environmental stewardship amongst the public
by informing them of emerging environmental
issues, ecological connections in the
environment, and human impacts through
stewardship programs including:
• An Interactive Pollution Model — This
website provides a do-it-yourself guide for
building an interactive pollution model of a
community (
• Discover Your Estuary — This online
resource provides a guide to understanding
and exploring the aquatic environment of the
Fraser River Estuary (
• The Pacific and Yukon Water Quality
Monitoring Program — This website provides
access to federal-provincial-territorial water
quality data, guidelines, reports, publications,
links to stewardship programs, and online
resources for designing a water quality
monitoring program (
• Workshops on Environment Canada's CABIN
Network — CABIN training workshops have
been given in the Pacific and Yukon Region
since 2003 to a wide audience to encourage
the use of the standardized protocols for
collection and analysis of data for stream
bioassessment (
• Columbia Basin Trust — The Pacific and
Yukon Region participates in Columbia Basin
Trust meetings with involved stakeholders
and coordinators to determine where the
Aquatic Section in conjunction with other
Environment Canada groups can be most
useful. Helped to develop A Columbia Basin
Water Quality Primer, a key water quality
communication product (
The following Canada Water Act Agreements1 were ongoing during 2005–2006:
Apportionment and Monitoring Programs
Agreements on water quantity surveys with
all provinces and with Indian and Northern
Affairs Canada for the territories
Canada–Quebec Protocol on Administrative
Arrangements under the Canada–Quebec
Agreement on Hydrometric and
Sedimentological Networks in Quebec
• Agreement Respecting Ottawa River Basin
• Canada–Quebec State of the St. Lawrence
Monitoring Program (
Water Management Programs
Master Agreement on Water Apportionment
in the Prairie Provinces (Prairie Provinces
Water Board)
Water quality monitoring agreements with
British Columbia, Newfoundland and
Labrador, New Brunswick, Manitoba, Yukon,
and Northwest Territories
Mackenzie River Basin Transboundary
Waters Master Agreement
For which Canada Water Act authority exists (in most cases, by Order in Council).
Selected Web Sites
Clean Water
Centre de Ressources en Impacts et Adaptation
au Climat et à ses Changements–CCIACC (in
French only)
Environment Canada Freshwater (including
Canada Water Act annual reports)
Weather and Meteorology
Research Institutes
National Water Research Institute
Northern Rivers Ecosystem Initiative
Other Federal Departments
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Health Canada
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
Natural Resources Canada
St. Lawrence Centre
Ecosystem Initiatives
Atlantic Coastal Action Program
Canada–Quebec Agreement St. Lawrence
Vision 2000
Georgia Basin Ecosystem Initiative
Great Lakes 2000 Program
Northern Ecosystem Initiative
Canadian Council of Ministers of the
Environment (CCME)
Interprovincial River Boards
Lake of the Woods Control Board
Mackenzie River Basin Board
Ottawa River Regulation Planning Board
Prairie Provinces Water Board
Arctic Council
International Joint Commission
United Nations Environment Programme:
GEMS/Water Global Environment Monitoring
United Nations University: International Network
on Water, Environment and Health
Associations, Networks, and Journals
Ecological Monitoring and Assessment Network
Federation of Canadian Municipalities
Great Lakes Information Network
HYDAT (Meteorological Service of Canada)
Water Quality Research Journal of Canada
(Canadian Association on Water Quality)
Canadian Water Resources Association
Canadian Water and Wastewater Association
General Information
Boundary Water Issues Division
Meteorological Service of Canada
Environment Canada
Canada Centre for Inland Waters
867 Lakeshore Road
Burlington, ON L7R 4A6
Tel.: 905-336-4712
Fax: 905-336-8901
Environmental Stewardship Branch
Sustainable Water Management Division
Environment Canada
Ottawa, ON K1A 0H3
Tel.: 819-997-2307
Fax: 819-994-0237
Prairie Provinces Water Board
Transboundary Waters Unit
Environment Canada
Prairie and Northern Region
2365 Albert Street, Room 300
Regina, SK S4P 4K1
Tel.: 306-780-6042
Fax: 306-780-6810
Publications (Public Information Program)
Inquiry Centre
Environment Canada
Ottawa, ON K1A 0H3
Toll free: 1-800-668-6767
Local: 997-2800
Fax: 819-953-2225
E-mail: [email protected]
Science Liaison
National Water Research Institute
Canada Centre for Inland Waters
867 Lakeshore Road, P.O. Box 550
Burlington, ON L7R 4A6
Fax: 905-336-6444
E-mail: [email protected]
Science Liaison
National Hydrology Research Centre
11 Innovation Boulevard
Saskatoon, SK S7N 3H5
Tel.: 306-975-5779
Fax: 306-975-5143
St. Lawrence Centre
Environment Canada
Quebec Region
105 McGill Street, 7th Floor
Montréal, QC H2Y 2E7
Tel.: 514-283-7000
Fax: 514-283-1719
e-mail: [email protected]
Regional Offices
Director General
Environment Canada
Atlantic Region
45 Alderney Drive
Dartmouth, NS B2Y 2N6
Tel.: 902-426-4824
Fax: 902-426-5168
Director General
Environment Canada
Ontario Region
4905 Dufferin Street
Downsview, ON M5H 5T4
Tel: 416-739-4490
Director General
Environment Canada
Quebec Region
1141 route de l'Église
Sainte-Foy, QC G1V 3W5
Tel: 418-648-4077
Fax: 418-649-6213
Director General
Environment Canada
Pacific and Yukon Region
201–401 Burrard Street
Vancouver, BC V6C 3S5
Tel.: 604-664-9100
Fax: 604-664-9126
Director General
Environment Canada
Prairie and Northern Region
4999–48 Avenue, Room 200
Edmonton, AB T6B 2X3
Tel.: 780-951-8700
Fax: 780-495-2615
Canada Water Act Annual Report
Thank you for reading the Canada Water Act 2003–2004 Annual Report. While Environment Canada is
legislatively required to report annually on operations under the Canada Water Act, we endeavour to
publish a report that is both informative and useful to a variety of audiences. Your feedback is appreciated,
and your opinions provided below will help shape future annual reporting under the Canada Water Act.
Please rate the report on the following:
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Send to:
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