The Canada Water Act Annual Report 2003–2004

The Canada Water Act Annual Report 2003–2004
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. En36-426/2004
ISBN 978-0-662-49681-6
Online in HTML and PDF at
PDF version
Cat. No. En36-426/2004E-PDF
ISBN 978-0-662-44563-0
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PREFACE ................................................................................................................................ vii
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY .............................................................................................................. xi
HIGHLIGHTS, 2003–2004 ..........................................................................................................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 .......................................... 8
2. Water Research....................................................................................................................... 15
2.1 National Water Research Institute..................................................................................... 15
2.2 St. Lawrence Centre.......................................................................................................... 17
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 Web Site ......................................................................................... 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 32nd report, covers progress on these activities from April 1, 2003 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 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, and federal–provincial–territorial basis.
Agreements for specific water programs provide for the participating governments to contribute funding,
information, and expertise in agreed ratios.
Various federal programs are highlighted in this Canada Water Act Annual Report. For example, Program
Integrity is an initiative to collect hydrometric data across the country and includes modernizing stations
and gauging sites and improving the technology used in monitoring. As well, a number of federal–
provincial-territorial water quality monitoring agreements have been developed since the early 1980s to
provide data on water quality. Highlights of 2003–2004 progress in this area include Environment
Canada’s completion of discussions with Manitoba on the Canada–Manitoba Water Quality Agreement
and the initiation of a joint study under the Canada–Quebec agreement on pesticides within tributaries of
the St. Lawrence River. Progress also continued on the work conducted by interjurisdictional boards,
including the Prairie Provinces Water Board (PPWB), the Ottawa River Regulation Planning Board, and
the Mackenzie River Basin Board.
As Canada’s largest freshwater research facility, the National Water Research Institute (NWRI) leads
initiatives across the country to protect and sustain Canadian water resources. Highlights of 2003–2004
include completion of a survey of sediments in the Great Lakes, which showed that levels of certain
contaminants have dropped significantly; first steps in the design and implementation of a dedicated
national water quality monitoring network focused on key water uses; publication of a comprehensive
review of contamination of the Arctic environment by persistent organic pollutants, which underlines
increasing concentrations of flame retardants; and new findings from a study of large-scale circulation
patterns over the Northern Hemisphere and the relationship with recent prairie droughts.
In regards to public education on water issues, searching the web using any of the top search engines and
the search terms water and research regularly brings up the NWRI web page as the top hit.
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 activities.
A project initiated in 2003 showed that acetaminophen and carbamazephine were the only two neutral
pharmaceuticals detected in effluent from sewage treatment plants. Also, a 20-year record indicated that
the concentration of total polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in wet precipitation in Atlantic Canada declined
steadily during 1980–2001.
In 2003–2004, Fisheries and Oceans Canada led an environmental impact assessment (EIA) with the
province of New Brunswick to evaluate options for rehabilitating the Petitcodiac River estuary.
Environment Canada contributed in-kind expertise to the EIA in the form of monitoring, data provision and
analysis, and professional advice.
Atlantic Region staff participated with Environment Canada’s Knowledge Integration Directorate in a pilot
project for the regional application of the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment Water Quality
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.
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.
Following the release of the initial results of the State of the St. Lawrence Monitoring Program, two
workshops on indicators of shoreline conditions and community involvement in monitoring of the St.
Lawrence were held. Also the following projects were carried out in support of river monitoring: chemical
characterization of organic contaminants and heavy metals in surface sediments in Lake Saint-Pierre and
Lake Saint-Louis: mapping of industrial contamination of sediment in Lake Saint-François: continued
monitoring of water contamination by toxic substances at the Quebec City (downstream) and Wolfe Island
(upstream) stations: establishment of a new monitoring station at Carillon (mouth of the Ottawa River): a
comprehensive study of pesticides in Lake Saint-Pierre; and, continued monitoring of wetland vegetation,
with the first cartographic databases online.
A new program on river biodiversity knowledge was launched in 2003–2004. According to this program,
new inventories were started in order to learn more about the St. Lawrence River’s biodiversity,
particularly the importance of amphibians. Work on the vulnerability of the river’s biodiversity was carried
out, one focal point being the impact of parasites on the health of selected species and whether parasites
can serve as indicators of biodiversity.
The Urban Effluents Program focused mainly on the Montréal wastewater treatment plant. According to
the work published in 2003–2004, the program dealt specifically with the potential risk of feminization of
certain organisms exposed to urban effluent, the assessment of nonylphenol surfactants in urban effluent,
documentation of the bioaccumulation of heavy metals in the dispersion plume of wastewater, and a study
of the combined effect of parasites and heavy metals on aquatic organisms.
Specialists at the Meteorological Service of Canada continued their digital modelling of the St. Lawrence
River. Simulations representing the physical variables for various scenarios for water inflow into the
St. Lawrence River were produced for the section of the river between Cornwall and Trois-Rivières.
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 partners
government departments/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,
accomplishments in 2003–2004 include progress towards rehabilitating ecological systems in all AOCs
and the publication of a detailed status report on actions to be taken to restore beneficial uses in the
15 remaining AOCs, entitled Canada's Remedial Action Plan Progress Report 2003, available online at
Within the region, water use and supply studies focus on gathering information at a watershed level to
determine ecological sensitivities, impacts of climate change, and future projections.
Prairie and Northern Region
The Prairie and Northern Region encompasses more than 50% of Canada’s land mass and includes five
political jurisdictions: Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut. In this region,
two main initiatives are noted in the Canada Water Act Annual Report: the Northern Rivers Ecosystem
Initiative (NREI) and the Northern Ecosystem Initiative (NEI).
The NREI ran from 1998 to 2003, with reporting completed in 2004. It was initiated by the governments of
Canada, Alberta, and the Northwest Territories in response to the recommendations made by the Northern
River Basins Study. Through the NREI, science teams focused on priorities such as pollution prevention,
endocrine disruption in fish, drinking water, and the effects of land use, flow regulation, and climate
change on aquatic ecosystems.
The NEI 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.
The PPWB 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 PPWB also facilitates a cooperative approach for the integrated development and management of
interprovincial streams and aquifers to ensure their sustainability. It continues to monitor and report on
water chemistry, the condition of benthic macroinvertebrate communities and fish, and contaminant levels
at PPWB monitoring sites. The PPWB is also considering the application of a water quality index for the
presentation of water quality data at its transboundary monitoring sites.
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. In 2003–
2004, the major initiative of the Board was the drafting and completion of its first State of Aquatic
Ecosystem Report, which analyzed indicators of water quality in the basin.
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.
Water issues in the region stem from conflict or uncertainty in the allocation of water and adequate quality
and quantity to meet human and ecosystem needs, now and in the future. Stresses from urban growth,
rural development, agriculture, industry, and resource use have impacts on the quality and quantity of
water suitable for human and environmental uses. Other water issues stem from fundamental human
conflict with the environment: urban and rural development versus floods and drought versus agricultural
and municipal water needs. The conflict is compounded by the mosaic of international, interprovincial,
municipal, and First Nations interests, each with its own perspectives on the issues, root causes, and
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.
HIGHLIGHTS, 2003–2004
(Part I of the Canada Water Act)
1. Federal–Provincial–Territorial Programs
In this section of the annual report, the following
aspects of federal–provincial–territorial programs
are discussed: federal–provincial–territorial
collaboration on data collection and use,
progress achieved within interjurisdictional
boards, and ecosystem initiatives, as well as
highlights of other types of collaborations on
water, such as through the Canadian Council of
Ministers of the Environment (CCME).
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
In 1997, all the parties agreed that there was a
need to review the existing bilateral agreements
and determine the path forward for updating the
1975 agreements. This initiative became known
as the partnership renewal process.
and evaluation of hydroacoustic technologies for
suitability as an operational tool within the water
survey field program have also taken place. The
acoustic Doppler current profiler has shown
great promise in reducing the time expended and
dangers encountered by field staff when
conducting velocity and flow measurements. It
also reduces the time needed to obtain river
velocity measurements and uses new
deployment platforms, including small handcarried tethered boats, remote-controlled boats,
and remote-controlled cableway rovers. Other
technologies investigated include in situ acoustic
velocity meters and noncontact stage, velocity,
and flow meters using radar and laser systems.
Significant 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 sites to
estimate stream flows at ungauged sites.
Preliminary discussions were held regarding the
provision to provincial and federal partners of
gridded hydrological data products derived from
the operational numerical weather prediction
Global Environmental Multiscale (GEM) model.
More comprehensive consultation sessions are
planned for 2004–2005.
1.1.2 Water Use and Supply Data
In 2000, under the federal government’s
Program Integrity initiative, the Meteorological
Service of Canada was allocated $10 million
over a five-year period. The funding was to be
used for reengineering the collection of
hydrometric data in order to minimize the
associated field hazards.
Progress (to March 31, 2004)
In 2003–2004, 6 new groundwater stations were
activated in New Brunswick, for a total of
10 stations operated under the Canada–New
Brunswick Hydrometric Agreement.
The initial focus of the Program Integrity initiative
has been on research and development. Testing
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 of this Canada–
Ontario project 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 change.
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 and Food, Conservation Ontario,
and Fisheries and Oceans Canada. Three
technical working groups (water use, water
supply, and ecological requirements) conduct the
Progress (to March 31, 2004)
The Canada–Ontario Water Use and Supply
Project has made considerable progress
throughout the past three years on a work-share
basis and has completed many successful subprojects as a result of the study.
The Water Use Working Group compiled data by
tertiary watershed for the entire study area for
the years 1991, 1996, 1998, 2000, and 2001 and
continued to refine the current data-gathering
methods. A Demand Forecasting Report with a
25-year time horizon (2001–2026) was updated
to incorporate three different scenarios: water
conservation, population and economic growth,
and climate change. The Water Supply Working
Group compiled climate data for Ontario,
Quebec, and the Great Lakes states, compiled a
sewage treatment plant data set for Ontario,
compiled a data set of regulation structures
(dams) for Ontario, developed new digital
HYDAT watersheds (based on the stream
gauging network), and estimated groundwater
flow in terms of base flow index for all Canadian
and U.S. stations using multiple techniques. The
Ecological Requirements Working Group
continued to identify species at risk, extracted
indicators of stream health for sites located
within the Lake Ontario basin, and initiated a
study that characterizes the relationship between
the effects of imperviousness in upstream
catchments and biophysical characteristics of
streams that drain into Lake Ontario.
1.1.3 Water Quality Monitoring Agreements
The agreement with New Brunswick was
modified 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 addition, each stakeholder
provides water quality data (toxicity, coliform
levels, conventional parameters, etc.) based on
its analysis capabilities.
As part of an action plan to measure mercury in
precipitation, an agreement was extended
between Environment Canada and the Quebec
Ministry of the Environment for a further three
years (2001–2004) at the request of the
Conference of New England Governors and
Eastern Canadian Premiers. Under the
agreement, mercury will be measured in
precipitation at two sites in Quebec along the
St. Lawrence River (Saint-Anicet and Mingan).
Work continued in 2003–2004. The
measurements will be incorporated into the
North American Mercury Deposition Network.
Progress (to March 31, 2004)
Beginning in the early 1980s, federal–provincialterritorial 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
Environment Canada and the B.C. Ministry of
Water, Land and Air Protection jointly conducted
biweekly water quality monitoring at 31 stream or
river sites in British Columbia. Cooperative
arrangements to test groundwater quality at wells
have also been implemented where cost-effective.
Environment Canada monitored water quality at
an additional four stream and/or river sites in
British Columbia and four sites in Yukon in
cooperation with the Parks Canada Agency. 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. The web site
( makes
water quality trend data accessible through the
Internet. Developments in 2003–2004 include the
introduction of web services to facilitate
customized client applications regarding access
to Environment Canada–Pacific and Yukon
Region data and the incorporation of an online
mapping solution based on open geographic
information system (GIS) standards to facilitate
the client’s use of geospatial data with these
water quality data.
Environment Canada Water Stewardship
continues 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
under the agreement. Ions, nutrients, metals and
pesticides are monitored in water under the
Agreement. In addition to this monthly program,
an automonitor is operated on the Red River at
the international boundary.
In New Brunswick, 10 long-term surface water
quality stations continued to be monitored in
accordance with the federal–provincial
agreement. These stations were used in the
Application and Testing of Water Quality Index in
Atlantic Canada pilot project.
In Newfoundland and Labrador, 91 water quality
sites continued to be sampled under the federal–
provincial 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) continued during 2003–2004. The
ashkui stations are now integrated into the
Canada–Newfoundland and Labrador Water
Quality Agreement. A Special Study report on
water quality within the Exploits River was
finalized this year, and several projects that
coordinate databases were implemented as a
first step in development of the CANAL website.
Selected stations were used in the Application
and testing of Water Quality Index in Atlantic
Canada pilot project.
Annual meetings were held by representatives
for the Canada-PEI Memorandum of Agreement
on Water. Three Federal–Provincial hydrometric
stations and two water management stations
were operated this year. Eight groundwater wells
are being monitored, and 14 freshwater stations
were sampled. These stations were used in the
Application and Testing of Water Quality Index in
Atlantic Canada pilot project.
Lake water quality monitoring continued in
Nova Scotia and Newfoundland’s west coast for
Environment Canada’s ongoing Long-range
Transport of Airborne Pollutants Program.
Research on the aquatic ecosystem impacts of
mercury and acid rain continued in 2003–2004.
Water quality monitoring continued in New
Brunswick and Nova Scotia in support of longterm multiagency research projects on the
impacts of forestry operations on water quality
at Catamaran Brook (NB), and the Pockwock
Bowater Watershed Project (NS).
A pilot project was initiated in 2003 to investigate
the occurrence of pharmaceuticals in sewage
treatment plant effluents. Eight sewage
treatment plants were sampled for final effluents.
The acid pharmaceuticals were present at
concentrations up to 23.0 µg/l in all the samples.
Acetaminophen and carbamazephine were the
only two neutral pharmaceuticals detected in
the effluent.
A spatial and temporal trend analysis was
completed for 14 polycyclic aromatic
hydrocarbons (PAHs) that were measured in
wet precipitation samples collected monthly from
five sites in Atlantic Canada during 1980–2001.
The 20-year record indicates that during this time
period, the total PAH concentration in wet
precipitation declined steadily.
In Quebec, the cooperation initiated under
the Canada–Quebec agreement on the St.
Lawrence and the federal–provincial agreement
on the State of the St. Lawrence Monitoring
Program led to a joint study on pesticides in
Lake Saint-Pierre (St. Lawrence River) and
tributaries, where pressure from farming is
among the highest in Quebec. This project
involved monitoring problematic tributaries on
the St. Lawrence River (Yamaska, Nicolet, and
Saint-François) in order to characterize pesticide
type, concentration, and temporal distribution
patterns. During this first sampling year,
pesticides such as atrazine were found in
relatively high concentrations.
1.1.4 Cooperative Modelling in the
St. Lawrence River and the Great Lakes
Connecting Channels
Since 2001, several studies have been
undertaken as part of the revision of the water
level regulation plan for Lake Ontario and the
St. Lawrence River. Plan 1958-D, which was
developed over 30 years ago, is the Lake
Ontario–St. Lawrence River regulation plan,
which established flow release levels according
to criteria that included hydropower, commercial
navigation, and flooding. Environment Canada–
Quebec Region is involved in various working
groups on issues such as the environment,
coastal processes, hydrology, data
management, pleasure boating, and nautical
tourism. The results of the studies will be used
as performance indicators to evaluate and
propose an update of Plan 1958-D.
The Environmental Conservation Branch
(St. Lawrence Centre and Canadian Wildlife
Service) completed a series of projects and
field studies (specifically in wetlands) to acquire
a better understanding of the relationships
between water levels and ecosystem
components. The results of these studies
made it possible to develop a series of solid
empirical relationships and established the
relative sensitivity of those components to
changes in water levels. The relationships will
be used as the basis for validating the hydrologic
model and criteria in order to update the
regulation plan.
A multipartner hydrologic modelling initiative
aimed at predicting inflows to the Great Lakes
and St. Lawrence basin was launched. The
2003–2004 component of the study focused on
the development of methodologies for estimating
the contribution of snowmelt runoff to the
St. Lawrence stream flow downstream of
1.1.5 Automated Quality Control
Progress (to March 31, 2004)
The Meteorological Service of Canada
(Hydrology Section) has completed a twodimensional digital modelling of Lake SaintFrançois and Lake Saint-Pierre between
Cornwall and Trois-Rivières and of the Ottawa
River between the Carillon dam and Lake SaintLouis. These two areas are covered by the Lake
Ontario–St. Lawrence River regulation plan. A
number of physical parameters have been
incorporated into the model in order to improve
the simulation of the effects of water level
fluctuations. In 2003–2004, special attention was
paid to erosion and flooding problems and the
development of habitat models for various plant
and animal species based on the integration of
physics and biology expertise.
The Meteorological Service of Canada was also
involved in managing the georeferenced data
obtained by the International Joint Commission
(IJC) and Environment Canada and their
partners for the study plan. A data storage and
management service was established for the
portion of the IJC’s work covering the lower
St. Lawrence River.
The Meteorological Service of Canada–Quebec
Region participated in the implementation of a
pilot project involving the automated, real-time
application of quality control algorithms to data
from hydrometric and meteorological monitoring
networks. Traditional methods of managing
these data were also reviewed and optimized in
accordance with the most up-to-date concepts
and technologies in the field.
Progress (to March 31, 2004)
The data model and the bank of suitable data
have been reviewed and optimized. This model
has incorporated new data, including updated
bathymetry. Quality control algorithms for the
domain of variation and for temporal variability
were applied at a large number of hydrometric and
meteorological stations to assess the capacity of
the system to handle large quantities of data in
real time. The project for all of the St. Lawrence
River section (except Lake Saint-Pierre) was
completed in 2003–2004. A national pilot project
developed in part on the basis of that work was
applied to the Pacific and Yukon Region.
1.1.6 Petitcodiac River Estuary Restoration
In 1968, a 1-km-long 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.
will design and implement improvements to
the federal–provincial–territorial water quality
monitoring network focused on key water uses
with a view to reporting nationally, regionally and
by major drainage basins. Work will begin in
2004–2005, with the first national report targeted
for fall 2005.
1.2 Interjurisdictional Boards
1.2.1 Ottawa River Regulation Planning
Progress (to March 31, 2004)
As part of efforts to rehabilitate the estuary,
Canada and New Brunswick agreed to undertake
a harmonized environmental impact assessment
(EIA) for achieving a long-term solution to the
fish passage and ecosystem problem. The EIA
will consider proposed modifications to the
Petitcodiac River causeway. Environment Canada
is providing in-kind support (i.e., laboratory water
quality analysis and engineering expertise) for the
EIA. Water level stations continue to be operated
on the Petitcodiac River in support of sediment
and hydrodynamic modelling requirements for
the EIA.
1.1.7 Canadian Environmental Sustainability
Following the recommendations of the 2003
National Round Table on the Environment and
the Economy Report on Environmental
Sustainable Development Indicators, the
Government of Canada committed in the federal
budget in March 2004 to develop and report
regularly on a suite of environmental indicators,
including indicators of water quality, air quality,
and greenhouse gases.
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, 2004)
Progress (to March 31, 2004)
Environment Canada is leading this effort with
key input from Statistics Canada and Health
Canada, using the CCME Water Quality Index as
the model to evaluate monitoring data and report
meaningful findings.
In collaboration with provincial and territorial
partners, it is proposed that Environment Canada
The spring of 2003 was marked by low inflows to
reservoirs and, hence, low peak flows. There
were no reports of flooding during the spring melt
period. By contrast, the peak flow measured at
Carillon was greater in November than during
the spring freshet due to heavy fall rains over
large parts of the basin.
The board met four times during the year to deal
with matters under its jurisdiction, as defined in
the federal–provincial agreement. The board
also hosted its fifth annual public meeting on
August 26, 2003, in Mattawa, Ontario. The
secretariat gave a presentation on the mandate
of the board and on how the members are
involved in coordinating the integrated
management of the 13 principal reservoirs
in the basin. Information was also provided
more specifically on the operation of the
reservoirs in the area of interest to the residents
of the Mattawa area, from Lake Temiskaming
to the Des Joachims generating station near
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 IJC
under the terms of the 1909 Canada–United
States Boundary Waters Treaty. Under Schedule
C, the Prairie Provinces Water Board (PPWB) 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, 2004)
During 2003, all apportionment obligations
were met between the provinces. Runoff was
generally close to normal in most locations,
providing for flows that were surplus to
apportionment requirements. Deliveries varied
from a low of 79% of the natural flow on the
South Saskatchewan River at the Alberta–
Saskatchewan boundary to 176% of the natural
flow on the Qu’Appelle River at the
Saskatchewan–Manitoba boundary. The
Qu’Appelle River normally delivers well in
excess of natural flows because the province of
Saskatchewan augments supplies with releases
from Lake Diefenbaker.
The PPWB agencies supported studies, done
under the Climate Change Action Fund, to
consider the potential impacts of climate change
on water availability and on the vulnerability of
various water use sectors.
Since 1985, the Committee on Hydrology has
sought ways to improve the effectiveness of
apportionment monitoring of Lodge, Middle, and
Battle creeks at the Alberta–Saskatchewan
border. Middle Creek is a tributary of Battle
Creek and the confluence of the two is in
Saskatchewan. The board approved changes to
the natural flow computation procedure
recommended by the Committee on Hydrology
to improve the accuracy of apportionment
monitoring in these two interprovincial streams.
Because these waters are also shared with the
United States and are subject to the 1909
Boundary Waters Treaty, the PPWB must
consider how apportionment changes between
Alberta and Saskatchewan affect the
apportionment arrangement at the international
boundary. Therefore, some recommended
changes have been postponed until similar
changes are accepted in the international
computations by the IJC Accredited Officers.
The Committee on Groundwater recommended
specific tasks that should be completed before
negotiating a groundwater apportionment
agreement between the provinces, including the
mapping and assessment of transboundary
aquifers, the definition of sustainable yield, and
aquifer management plans. A pilot study to map
and assess a transboundary aquifer was
conducted in 2003.
The Committee on Water Quality continued its
integrated aquatic ecosystem monitoring
program. The program includes the collection of
key water chemistry, biota, and sediment
samples with which water quality and aquatic
ecosystem health can be assessed. The
Committee on Water Quality annually reviews
the results from this integrated program and
compares the data with PPWB water quality
objectives. Similar to previous years, in 2003,
more than 94% of all samples were in adherence
with these objectives. The Committee on Water
Quality, in collaboration with NWRI, applied the
CCME Water Quality Index to basins with PPWB
monitoring sites, and the results were reviewed.
Although the CCME Water Quality Index is a
valuable tool, further development is under way,
including applying the index to five-year running
averages and coordinating analysis and
interpretative approaches with the CCME and
the National Guidelines and Standards Office of
Environment Canada.
Also in 2003–2004, the Committee on Water
Quality reviewed trend detection techniques that
compensate for variations in natural stream flow,
and plans are in place to apply appropriate
methods at the PPWB sites in 2004–2005. The
PPWB continued monitoring fish conditions and
contaminant levels on a five-year cycle at PPWB
monitoring sites. Specific biological pilot studies,
which include benthic macroinvertebrate
communities and periphyton measurements,
were completed in 2003–2004. This pilot study
will be used to determine the feasibility of an
ongoing biological assessment program for the
PPWB that would identify the current status of
aquatic ecosystem health and evaluate changes
in ecosystem health over time. Finally, the
Committee on Water Quality continued to
develop appropriate nutrient water quality
objectives, including an examination of the
approaches proposed by the Canadian
Guidance Framework for the Management of
Phosphorus in Freshwater Systems.
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.
Under the Master Agreement, Environment
Canada is responsible for managing the
expenditures of the board, which are costshared 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 in the middle of the
Mackenzie River Basin in Fort Smith,
Northwest Territories, providing accessibility
to the people who live in the basin.
The web site ( went online in
2002. The site is continually being refined. News
items, maps, and reports can be downloaded.
The web site plays a major role in providing
public information about water in the basin.
1.2.3 Mackenzie River Basin Board
Progress (to March 31, 2004)
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. These bilateral
agreements 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.
The Mackenzie River Basin Board administers
the Master Agreement. Its members are
appointed and represent all parties: Canada,
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. Most of the financial and human
resources were devoted to the board’s first
SOAER during 2003–2004. The board
established an SOAER Committee to prepare
the report. A senior author/editor was seconded
from Environment Canada. The SOAER was
structured by sub-basins, which facilitates a
focus on the aquatic ecosystem and ties in
development of bilateral agreements and the
interests of local people. The report used
Environment Canada’s Pressure State
Response Model and included a whole basin
overview, future predictions based on current
trends, and observations and advice to the
ministers responsible for water management in
the basin.
The report begins with an overview chapter
followed by six sub-basin chapters, while the
board’s strategic plan was used to provide the
focus of the chapters. Each sub-basin chapter was
prepared by a team composed of representatives
of the jurisdictions involved in the sub-basins, and
traditional environmental knowledge based on
existing documentation was used throughout the
report. Environmental indicators were used to
track the questions posed under the Pressure
State Response Model.
The SOAER was completed in the spring of
2004 and released to the ministers and the public
in the summer of 2004. Climate change and
contaminants were identified as major whole basin
issues. A Highlights version accompanies the
SOAER and summarizes 13 key observations and
advice. Both the highlights and the full report are
available online at
1.3 Ecosystem Initiatives: Watershed and
Water-related Activities
During the year 2003–2004, Environment Canada
continued the development and implementation of
its major ecosystem initiatives, covering a wide
variety of sensitive marine and freshwater systems
across Canada. A five-year, $122.5 million funding
authorization, which began in 1998–1999, has
supported the program.
throughout Atlantic Canada. With broad local
support, nonprofit organizations have been
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.
Over the past decade, some 800 projects have
been undertaken. These projects have already
resulted in significant water quality improvements
in several coastal river systems. For example, a
project in the Annapolis River, Nova Scotia
reviewed the management regime for the
disposal or treatment of septage and made
recommendations on improving sewage
management in Nova Scotia. In northern New
Brunswick, a project measured polychlorinated
biphenyl (PCB) levels and identified the source of
contaminants found in sediment and finfish
throughout the Napan River watershed. The study
also provided a comparative report of PCB levels
in sediments and finfish.
Progress (to March 31, 2004)
Although each initiative has unique features,
common management principles are observed
throughout. These principles stress ecosystem
and precautionary approaches to pollution
prevention, citizen and community involvement
in the design and implementation of initiatives,
long-term stewardship through partnerships and
governments working together, and sound
science combined with local and traditional
knowledge as the basis for identifying and
resolving issues.
Several ACAP organizations worked on
multiyear projects on a variety of issues within
their local communities. The Bluenose ACAP
(now the Bluenose Coastal Action Foundation)
delivered a Clean Boating Program aimed at
reducing the environmental impact of
recreational boating in and around the waters of
Lunenburg County. This was achieved through
the installation of sewage pump-out facilities,
the promotion of environmentally responsible
boating practices, and the successful
designation of a “No Discharge” zone. Humber
Arm Environmental Association Inc. developed
a student-based water sampling initiative called
Trading Books for Boats. Piloted in 2002, this
project provided the foundation for a long-term,
student-based water quality monitoring program.
This program is based on the learning objectives
set out by the Newfoundland and Labrador
Department of Education.
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
In Prince Edward Island, a three-year study was
initiated to determine the effectiveness of filter
strip and buffer zone composition in reducing the
contaminant content of agricultural runoff.
Concern for the quality of water within the local
watershed was raised when agricultural runoff
The ecosystem approach itself takes into
consideration complex interrelationships among
water, land, air, wildlife, and human activities. The
focus of this report is primarily on water-related
activities and their interjurisdictional arrangements.
1.3.1 Atlantic Coastal Action Program
was associated with fish kills in the province.
Developed jointly between ACAP, the
Government of Prince Edward Island, and
Environment Canada–Atlantic Region, this
project was based on filter strip research through
the provision of chemical composition and
toxicity data on agricultural runoff at sites in
Prince Edward Island where potato crops were
cultivated under typical farm conditions.
1.3.2 Georgia Basin Action Plan: Cooperative
Arrangements in the Georgia Basin
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,
Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Parks Canada
Agency, the B.C. Ministry of Water, Land and Air
Protection, and the B.C. Ministry of Sustainable
Resource Management. 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 [POPs] and other toxics)
in municipal wastewater and in urban and
agricultural nonpoint sources;
remediation of shellfish growing areas; and
development and transfer of science, tools,
and knowledge to support improved
decision-making towards sustainability in the
Georgia Basin.
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, 2004)
Federal–Provincial Water Quality Monitoring
Agreement: Four sites in Georgia Basin rivers
were added to the federal–provincial water
quality network in British Columbia. The network,
now consisting of 34 sites, had been established
to determine water quality trends in ambient
surface water and is a cost-shared program
between Environment Canada and the province.
In a related project, a study was initiated in the
Fraser River estuary to determine the best
method for monitoring water quality in the tidal
reaches of the lower Fraser River. When
methods are established, regular monitoring at
the river’s mouth may be undertaken.
Stream Condition Assessment: Nine water quality
monitoring sites in the Georgia Basin were
assessed for biological condition using the
Canadian Aquatic Biomonitoring Network (CABIN)
approach, which is based on stream benthic
communities. This serves as a pilot project for
applying the CABIN bioassessment at all water
quality monitoring sites in the region and adding
a biological component to the network. The
application of this national approach was
promoted by Environment Canada. For example,
training on CABIN was presented to provincial
agencies, municipalities, First Nations,
consultants, and stewardship groups in 2004.
Abbotsford Aquifer Groundwater Monitoring:
Groundwater samples taken from 23 locations in
the Abbotsford aquifer were monitored monthly
for nitrate from nonpoint source pollution.
Nonpoint 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. The overall
average concentration of nitrate at the
monitoring wells is higher than the Canadian
drinking water guideline. Recent results from
the monitoring program are available on
Environment Canada–Pacific and Yukon
Region’s Environmental Indicators web site at
Since 1996, Environment Canada has
implemented, in partnership with other federal,
provincial, and municipal agencies, projects to
educate the public on groundwater stewardship.
Recent efforts have included support to the
Raspberry Industry Development Council’s
education and awareness initiatives.
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 Water Sustainability
Committee of the British Columbia Water and
Waste Association is developing a web-based
library, to be housed on the web
site (, listing current water
conservation resources from various government
and industry publications. A web-based user
survey will be developed to track outreach efforts
and document who is accessing water
conservation information and for what purpose.
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 submodel and for a predictive
fecal coliform submodel have been designed.
Headwaters Model Sustainable Community in
Surrey: Phase One of the Headwaters Model
Sustainable Community in Surrey project involved
the creation of a Neighbourhood Concept Plan for
East Clayton, Surrey. Principles for sustainable
urban development have been shaped into plans
through a series of charrettes, meetings, and
design sessions with different stakeholders as well
as design and technical specialists. The East
Clayton Land-Use Plan was adopted by council in
late 1999, and the full Neighbourhood Concept
Plan was approved in early 2001. Currently, the
City of Surrey, along with the Headwaters
partners, is undertaking Phase Two of the
Headwaters project, which will develop standards
to ensure the long-term health of the area’s
streams and agricultural lowlands and will set a
precedent for future development in the area.
1.3.3 Great Lakes Program: Canada–Ontario
Agreement Respecting the Great Lakes Basin
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 was
renewed in 1994 as Great Lakes 2000 and more
recently in 2000 through the Government of
Canada’s announcement of the Great Lakes
Basin 2020 initiative.
The federal Great Lakes Program is a
partnership of seven federal departments and
one federal agency which has as its goal the
attainment of a healthy environment, healthy
citizens, and sustainable communities. Program
partners include Agriculture and Agri-Food
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
six national priority ecosystem initiatives targeted
for funding ($10 million annually) to address and
solve complex environmental, economic, and
social issues.
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
Areas of Concern (AOCs) designated pursuant
to the Canada–United States GLWQA. As well
as restoring AOCs, the Great Lakes Program
seeks to engage government, nongovernmental
organizations (NGOs), and citizens in addressing
priority threats to the Great Lakes ecosystem,
including harmful pollutants, loss of fish and
wildlife habitat, climate change, alien invasive
species, and population growth and
Federal partner departments’ activities are
integrated with those 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 COA represents a 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 major
environmental priority, the 2002 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 were are follows:
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 Agri-
Food 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 Agriculture, Food
and Rural Affairs, Ontario Ministry of the
Environment, and Ontario Ministry of Natural
Progress (to March 31, 2004)
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. With two years of work under the
2002 COA, over 700 projects were underway in
2003–2004. Steady progress has been made in
relation to all COA results.
Accomplishments in 2003–2004 include the
Canada's Remedial Action Plan Progress
Report 2003 was published, detailing status
and actions to be taken to restore beneficial
uses in the 15 remaining AOCs
Biennial Lakewide Management Plan reports
were prepared in 2004 for Lakes Erie,
Ontario, and Superior. The first biennial
document for Lake Huron was also
completed in 2004. Discussions to establish
a binational program for Lake St. Clair are
underway. Also, a binational, multi-agency
monitoring strategy for Lake Ontario, which
is being considered as a model for the other
lakes, was implemented.
Regulatory as well as voluntary measures by
the public and industry have resulted in
significant reductions in concentrations of
harmful pollutants, including 86% for PCBs,
83% for mercury, 84% for dioxins/furans,
45% for benzo(a)pyrene, and 65% for
hexachlorobenzene since 1988.
The latest in the Great Lakes Fact Sheet
series titled Fish and Wildlife Health Effects
in the Canadian Great Lakes Areas of
Concern (
publications-e.html) was published. This fact
sheet summarizes early findings on wildlife
health resulting from a multiyear study led by
Environment Canada. The goal of this
systematic assessment in Canadian AOCs
is to determine if there are health effects
on fish and wildlife associated with
contaminants in the aquatic environment,
that are similar to those reported for the
human population in Health Canada studies.
landscapes, in particular wetland and
riparian habitats.
The Great Lakes Innovation Committee, a
multistakeholder advisory group, was
established to assist with the identification of
opportunities for overcoming barriers to COA
A collaborative four-year project that began
in 2002 continued to assist in the
development of a best management
practices manual for biosolids and manure
application to agricultural land.
Canada and Ontario, together with
municipalities, evaluated new treatment
technologies for the removal of ammonia,
pathogens, and other harmful pollutants in
municipal wastewater.
The Great Lakes Sustainability Fund
provided funding for 103 projects to advance
restoration in the Great Lakes AOCs.
1.3.4 St. Lawrence Action Plan / Vision 2000
The Great Lakes Cooperative Monitoring
Initiative, initiated in 2003 for Lake Ontario,
is an approach that attempts to address key
information needs identified by the Lakewide
Management Plans working groups through
new monitoring and research on the lake.
The expertise and participation of agency
staff and academia is actively sought in:
designing a program to address those
needs; 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 will focus on one lake at a time,
according to a Binational Executive
Committee’s endorsed rotational cycle.
Three separate projects were undertaken as
part of the Lake Ontario Cooperative
Monitoring Initiative in 2003: Assessment
and Status of the Lower Food Web;
Atmospheric Deposition Study; and Organic
Chemical Intercomparison Study between
US and Canadian Federal Agencies, State
and Provincial governments.
Originally launched in 1988, the St. Lawrence
Action Plan is a Canada–Quebec ecosystem
initiative to protect, preserve, and restore the St.
Lawrence River ecosystem. This five-year plan
has been renewed twice 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 agencies,
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.
Phase III of St. Lawrence Vision 2000 was
initiated in 1998 and carried forward the efforts of
the previous 10 years, in particular the reduction
of industrial and agricultural pollution, protection
and conservation of biodiversity, and
involvement of communities located along the
St. Lawrence. A new component, related to
shipping, was added to the third phase of
St. Lawrence Vision 2000.
Progress (to March 31, 2004)
The second edition of A Framework for
Guiding Habitat Restoration in Great
Lakes Areas of Concern was prepared,
entitled How Much Habitat is Enough?
( This publication provides planners
and rehabilitation teams with the best
available science for decisions on
rehabilitating local watersheds and
The year 2003–2004 marked the transition
between the third and fourth phases of the
St. Lawrence Action Plan, discussed with two
successive Quebec governments. The next
Canada–Quebec agreement on the
St. Lawrence is under negotiation. Despite the
absence of a formal agreement, many activities
were carried out in the areas of community
involvement, navigation, and monitoring of
the state of the St. Lawrence. Additional
interventions for the St. Lawrence were also
undertaken (e.g., decontamination, research,
education, and hydrodynamic modelling).
The signing of funding agreements with the
14 ZIP committees made it possible to support
mobilization of the local population in
implementing their ecological rehabilitation
action plans. In 2003–2004, the 14 ZIP
committees met twice to discuss common issues
and concerns, such as oil and gas exploration in
the St. Lawrence. The Community Interaction
Program provided funding for 22 ecological
rehabilitation action plans and other community
projects. The projects covered environmental
characterization, integrated island management,
restoration, environmental protection and
enhancement, shoreline accessibility, and public
awareness of environmental conservation. For
example, modelling of the bacteriological quality
of the water by the Quebec City ZIP committee
helped determine the potential for swimming at
Jacques Cartier beach.
New projects related to indicators for monitoring
the St. Lawrence ecosystem were undertaken, a
sustainable navigation strategy was reviewed
and validated by several local stakeholders, an
integrated sediment management plan was
developed for the St. Lawrence, and research
continued to identify new sediment quality
criteria. A special session entitled “The
St. Lawrence River: Research in Action” was
held during the Second International Symposium
on Contaminated Sediment in Quebec City. The
results of studies monitoring sediment quality
and review of the criteria required for sediment
management were highlighted. New criteria,
based on the CCME sediment quality criteria, will
be available in 2005. In addition to the St.
Lawrence Centre, the Environmental Protection
Branch of Environment Canada’s Quebec
Region was involved in the event, at which
research and fieldwork were discussed.
Studies on decontamination of the mouth of the
Saint-Louis River were also completed, with
rehabilitation expected to begin in the summer of
2005. Work on the area around sector 103 of the
Port of Montréal (aquatic environment) is
scheduled for the fall of 2005 or spring of 2006.
A work area was targeted in the contamination of
Sandy Beach harbour (Gaspé), and options are
being evaluated in order to define a specific
restoration project for November 2005. Finally,
toxic effluent from the Technoparc near
downtown Montréal is still a major concern for
the St. Lawrence ecosystem, and all of the
parties involved — municipal, provincial, and
federal — are working to find a lasting solution.
In support of the plan of study for the regulation
of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River,
studies conducted by the region (St. Lawrence
Centre, Canadian Wildlife Service) were
expanded to take greater account of birds
and species at risk, and other work was carried
out on fish habitat, fish communities, and
aquatic plants. The Meteorological Service of
Canada continued its digital modelling of the
St. Lawrence River. The hydrodynamics of the
Lake Saint-Louis and Lake des Deux Montagnes
reaches were simulated, and a two-dimensional
model of water temperature was developed in
cooperation with the Institut national de la
recherche scientifique–Eau (INRS-Eau, now
centre Eau, Terre et Environnement de l’INRS).
Modelling of the fish habitat continued in
cooperation with the Quebec Ministry of the
Environment and the Société de la faune et des
parcs du Québec.
Lastly, a project dealing with the impact of
pesticides (National Pesticide Fund with
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada) was started
in Lake Saint-Pierre, a World Biosphere Reserve
and Ramsar site (or Wetland of International
Importance). This is an effort to learn more about
the impact of pesticides and determine the
feasibility of a review of current controls on farm
effluent that could affect the St. Lawrence.
Evaluation of the effects of pesticides used in
growing corn continued in 2003–2004, with
systematic measurement of pesticides planned
until 2005 in Saint-Anicet and Saint-François Bay
on Lake Saint-Pierre as part of the Canadian
Atmospheric Network for Currently Used
Pesticides. Additional efforts were also made to
establish an integrated ecosystem research plan
focusing specifically on pesticides. A workshop
held in Montréal in September 2003 and
attended by 15 researchers dealt with pesticides
used in intensive agriculture in order to set up a
research program involving both university and
government researchers.
The Biosphère (Environment Canada–Quebec
Region), a unique museum devoted to water
resources, developed a number of networks
involving young people in initiatives and
information gathering related to the health of
aquatic ecosystems.
1.3.5 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 address
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, 2004)
With funding support from NEI, a number of
water-related projects were undertaken. These
included a workshop that brought together
Aboriginal people from five regions of the
Northwest Territories to share observations
and synthesize the most obvious impacts of
climate change and water-related issues.
Recommendations from the workshop
included holding a youth gathering to improve
communications and an international climate
change gathering of Indigenous Peoples.
NEI provided funding support for a Yukon
Community Stewardship Program that assisted
communities in identifying local stewardship
priorities and developing relevant plans,
programs, and projects related to local lakes and
wetlands. Communication links were forged
among stakeholders.
NEI supported a workshop in Inuvik that involved
women from six Inuit regions of Canada and
focused on steps to reduce the environmental
impact of day-to-day activities. The workshop
included a discussion on options for maintaining
a clean environment through proper waste
management practices, adequate sewage
treatment, and the unwanted effects of
household cleaners and chemicals on freshwater
With NEI support, the Ecological Monitoring and
Assessment Network–North (EMAN-North)
completed a plain-language water quality
manual to be used by researchers as well as
nonspecialists such as park wardens, renewable
resource officers, and community workers. The
manual was designed to combine key information
in assisting Northern personnel in answering
questions on water quality issues and designing
appropriate monitoring and assessment
projects. The manual is available online at
NEI continued to support projects investigating
mercury in northern aquatic ecosystems.
Research included work investigating mercury
isotopes as well as studies of mercury levels in
sediments of several northern lakes, fish in Great
Bear Lake, and mink in Yukon. Mercury has
emerged as a priority contaminant in the Arctic
and inland lakes of central and eastern Canada.
The studies supported by NEI helped complete
knowledge of mercury loadings in these
important aquatic ecosystems across
Canada’s North.
Two local contaminant study projects were also
funded by NEI. One study investigated a
progressively increasing problem of trees drying
out in the Colville Lake area. The second study
collected soil and water samples from two sites
near Martin House on the Arctic Red River in the
Northwest Territories. Water samples taken from
the sites were tested for the presence of metals,
salts, and hydrocarbons.
Through NEI funding, the Labrador
Contaminants Working Group completed two
Projects: 1) Initial Review of Local Contaminants
Concerns in Labrador and 2) Collating existing
Inventories and Databases of ContaminantsRelated Information for Labrador. Overall, these
efforts will provide the necessary foundation to
enable the Labrador Contaminants Working
Group to develop a contaminant research and
monitoring agenda for Labrador.
In 2003–2004, a third intensive measurement
campaign was carried out in northern Quebec
(Kuujjuarapik) in cooperation with German,
French, and Canadian researchers in an effort to
learn more about the way in which mercury is
exchanged between the atmosphere and snow
cover. This scientific work is directly linked to the
health of Aboriginal communities, whose diet is
based on wildlife and is subject to mercury
deposition from the atmosphere in the North.
1.3.6 Northern Rivers Ecosystem Initiative
Undertaken pursuant to an agreement signed by
Canada, Alberta, and the Northwest Territories in
1991, the Northern River Basins Study assessed
the cumulative effects of industrial, agricultural,
municipal, and other developments on the aquatic
ecosystems of the Peace, Athabasca, and Slave
river systems. The final report, with key findings
and recommendations, was completed and
transmitted to ministers in June 1996.
A joint governmental response to the
recommendations was released in November
1997. In the response, commitments to undertake
follow-up activities were made by a number of
federal departments, including Fisheries and
Oceans Canada, Indian and Northern Affairs
Canada, Health Canada, Canadian Heritage, and
Environment Canada, as well as Alberta and the
Northwest Territories. These activities included
research to improve the understanding of the
effects of nutrients and contaminants on the river
system and work to understand the
interrelationships of hydrology and climate
in northern deltas.
Follow-up activities have been cooperatively
undertaken by Canada, Alberta, and the
Northwest Territories through the Northern
Rivers Ecosystem Initiative (NREI). This fiveyear initiative began in April 1998 under the
direction of a steering committee co-chaired by
Environment Canada and Alberta Environment.
The NREI concluded in 2003, with final reporting
occurring in 2004. Information on the NREI and
the Northern River Basins Study can be found at ecosystems/
drinking water, and research into contaminants,
nutrients, endocrine disruption in fish, dissolved
oxygen, and hydrology. Technical reports on the
projects have been received by the NREI
Steering Committee. These technical reports
were compiled in digital format and put onto a
CD entitled NREI Collective Findings. The
technical reports, along with a summary of the
policy initiatives undertaken in response to the
original Northern River Basins Study
recommendations, formed the basis for an NREI
Synthesis Report. In addition, an NREI Final
Report was prepared, providing a detailed
description of the actions undertaken to meet the
commitments of the Government of Canada,
Alberta, and the Northwest Territories included in
the Northern River Basins Study recommendations. In many instances, initiatives by industry
also addressed the recommendations. Where
information was available and appropriate, the
results were included in the Final Report and
incorporated into the Synthesis Report. A Key
Findings Document will be put online in the
next year.
2. Water Research
2.1 National Water Research Institute
As Canada’s largest freshwater research
institute, NWRI leads initiatives from five
locations across the country to protect and
sustain Canada’s aquatic ecosystems, aquatic
biodiversity, and the quality and quantity of
Canadian water resources. NWRI collaborates
with partners from governments, universities,
and the private sector to confront Canadian and
global freshwater problems and to restore
damaged sediments, lakes, rivers, groundwater,
and wetlands.
Progress (to March 31, 2004)
Recognition of Expertise in Water Research: At
the Fifth Cannes Water Symposium in June
2003, NWRI was presented the Cannes
International Prize for Water and Sciences in
recognition of contributions to water science over
the past 30 years.
Progress (to March 31, 2004)
More than 15 research projects were concluded
in 2003, with reports prepared during 2004.
These projects focused on pollution prevention,
Communicating Water Knowledge to the Public:
Searching the web using any of the top search
engines and the search terms water and
research regularly brings up the NWRI web page
( as the top hit: numbers 1 through
4 on MSN; 1 on Lycos; 1 through 3 on Google
searching the Canadian pages only, number 2
for the whole web (out of ~1.7 million sites); and
1 on Yahoo’s unsponsored links. Among other
features, the site provides maps and details of
NWRI research across Canada and abroad.
NWRI and Water Reuse and Recycling: NWRI,
on behalf of the CCME, organized a workshop,
Linking Water Science to Policy: Water Reuse
and Recycling, that brought together over
50 invited participants from various sectors
and addressed the main issues of municipal
wastewater reclamation and reuse and industrial
water recycling. The final report on workshop
findings was released in 2003–2004 and dealt
with water reuse categories; water reuse
regulations, quality criteria, and guidelines;
wastewater treatment technologies for
reclamation and reuse; industrial wastewater
recycling; reclaimed water storage and
distribution; planning wastewater reclamation
and reuse; and workshop recommendations.
The report can be downloaded in both official
languages from the CCME web site at
Canadian Prairie Droughts of 2001 and 2002:
Droughts present a serious threat to water
quantity and water quality across Canada. An
improved understanding of the physical causes
of Canadian droughts will lead to better
prediction of these events, both in the short
term (seasonal) and for those future events
associated with climate change. Large-area,
prolonged droughts, such as those affecting the
Canadian Prairies during 2001 and 2002, are not
well understood in terms of their large-scale
atmospheric causes.
To address this issue, NWRI became involved
in a study examining atmospheric circulation
patterns associated with the 2001 and 2002
Canadian Prairie droughts, including
comparisons with other 20th-century severe dry
periods over western Canada. Results revealed
that large-scale circulation patterns over the
Northern Hemisphere were markedly different
when compared with those associated with
previous severe dry periods over western
Canada and indicated that more research into
the large-scale causes of droughts over Canada
and North America is required. Main partners
included Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and
the Saskatchewan Research Council.
Building Water Monitoring Networks in Atlantic
Canada: As part of an NWRI initiative to develop
a national biomonitoring program, training
workshops were held at Acadia University and
the University of New Brunswick (Fredericton),
attended by approximately 30 people
representing 19 different organizations, including
NGOs, academic institutions, other provincial
and federal departments, and First Nations.
The course taught participants how to design a
stream assessment study to use sampling
protocols and a specialized database, taxonomic
identification, as well as methods of data
analysis and interpretation. At the end of the
course, NGOs were provided with a stream
sampling kit to allow them to participate in the
program. This was the second year of this
program; as a result of the first year’s project,
15 groups participated, and data were collected
from over 100 sites in Atlantic Canada.
Contaminants in the Great Lakes — Past and
Present: NWRI and partners completed a survey
of Great Lakes sediments to discover the extent
of contamination by toxic substances and to
determine if cleanup efforts had the expected
effects. They compared current levels of
contamination in the sediments with historical
levels to get a picture of trends over time and
assess improvements in environmental quality
since measures were first taken to reduce
discharges of toxic contaminants. This
information also helps identify potential sources
of these compounds and regions where
contamination exceeds sediment quality
guidelines for the protection of aquatic biota.
Their findings showed a dramatic and definitive
drop in most contaminants — most notably lead
(attributed to its ban from use in gasoline),
mercury, and PCBs. Key factors contributing to
the overall decline in contaminant levels are
binational initiatives such as the Canada–United
States Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement
and the Binational Toxics Strategy, which target
specific harmful compounds and encourage both
the public and private industry to engage in more
environmentally responsible practices. Another
goal was the early identification and tracking of
toxics of emerging concern in the Great Lakes,
including compounds such as polybrominated
flame retardants, which were introduced to
replace the banned PCBs. Concentrations of
some of these compounds are on the rise, so
ongoing research and monitoring are essential.
Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme
(AMAP) — Persistent Organic Pollutants
(POPs): NWRI researchers led the development
of an AMAP report that was three years in the
making and gave a comprehensive review of
contamination of the Arctic environment by
POPs. The report underlined the increasing
concentrations of flame retardants and other new
contaminants in marine and freshwater animals
and stressed that PCB concentrations remain
high enough to affect the health of top predators,
particularly polar bears and sea gulls. The
document can be obtained at
Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme
(AMAP) — Acidification: AMAP intends to
release a follow-up report to Chapter 9 of the
1998 AMAP assessment, Acidifying Pollutants,
Arctic Haze and Acidification in the Arctic. NWRI
is providing research results to this follow-up,
which will be released in 2006. In the Canadian
Arctic, the 1998 assessment focused on air
quality issues, and this information will be
updated. An analysis of real or potential aquatic
effects will be an important new component.
Such information was largely missing from the
1998 report.
Aquatic Cumulative Effects Assessment —
Developing New Tools: Under the NREI, a
decision-support software tool was developed
by NWRI to assist with watershed- to regionalscale aquatic cumulative effects assessment.
The tool, called EcoAtlas–Cumulative Effects,
incorporates water quantity, water and biological
quality, and point source quality (pulp mill and
sewage effluents) data from federal and Alberta
provincial databases. It integrates the CCME
Water Quality Index and data from Environment
Canada’s Environmental Effects Monitoring
(EEM) Program. The EEM software is now being
used nationally by federal departments and by
industry and consultants to develop consistent
analyses and streamline reporting.
Vulnerability of Prairie Lakes and Wetlands to
Climate Change — Past, Present, and Future:
With funding from the Climate Change Impacts
and Adaptation Program, NWRI began an
investigation of the vulnerability of prairie lakes
to climate change. Researchers are compiling
historic water level and water chemistry records
to identify long-term fluctuations and current
conditions. A subset of lakes has been selected
for further investigation, including analysis of air
photo images, land survey records, and on-site
elevation surveys. These lakes are being
examined for current water chemistry, total
phosphorus, chlorophyll, and zooplankton
populations. In terms of water chemistry and
declines in depth, high-salinity lakes have shown
the greatest response to the recent dry period.
Nevertheless, many low-salinity lakes have lower
lake levels, although water chemistry has not
changed markedly.
Leading the Way in Environmental Testing: The
National Laboratory for Environmental Testing at
NWRI has offered accredited analysis for acid
and neutral herbicides for many years. Prior to
2003–2004, there was no performance testing
program offered by the Canadian Association for
Environmental Analytical Laboratories for these
parameters. The National Laboratory for
Environmental Testing took part in a pilot
program involving a selected number of these
herbicides, by analyzing four water samples for
each type and comparing the results with those
of approximately 30 other participants. The
National Laboratory for Environmental Testing
received perfect scores for the acid herbicide
parameters and scored very well for neutral
herbicides. Beginning in July 2003, the
laboratory is participating in the performance
testing program developed for these analyses
twice per year, on an ongoing basis.
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 a new
program was introduced, focusing on the
evaluation of urban wastes, in-depth
understanding of the biodiversity of the
St. Lawrence River and pressures on it, and the
long-term monitoring of the state of the river.
Progress (to March 31, 2004)
Ongoing and new research programs in 2003–
2004 include the following activities.
Impacts of Water Level Fluctuations on River
Biodiversity: The data collection and fieldwork
phases of the study of changes in water levels
were completed. Analysis is under way, and the
first series of mathematical relationships were
established on an empirical basis for aquatic
plants, fish communities, northern pike, and bird
communities. Two projects on the impact of
climate on aquatic communities (plants and fish)
were developed to assess the effects on
distribution and productivity.
In the context of the effect of changes in water
levels, other contributions were made in the form
of socioeconomic surveys of usage (impact on
pleasure boaters, infrastructures, and tourism
related to pleasure boating) and modelling of the
effects in extreme water level situations (high
and low).
The results of the examination of these effects
were shared with various technical groups and
the public advisory committee set up under a
mandate from the IJC to evaluate and develop a
new regulation plan for Lake Ontario and the
St. Lawrence River.
An inventory of amphibians along the shore of
Lake Saint-Pierre was taken to assess biodiversity
and species–habitat relationships. Attempts were
also made to evaluate the structure of the land
habitat and the characteristics of the plants that
make up their habitat.
The impact of pesticides as endocrine disruptors
affecting reproduction in copper redhorse (a
prominent species at risk in Quebec) was
examined in cooperation with the INRS–Institut
Armand-Frappier, the University of Ottawa, and
the Quebec Ministry of the Environment, with
support from the Interdepartmental Recovery
Fund. From an ecosystem perspective, studies
were conducted on the combined effect of
metals (zinc) and parasites (ectoparasites) on
the relative sensitivity of organisms (guppy fish)
to multiple environmental stresses or the effect
of pesticides on the virulence of parasites in
leopard frogs.
Laboratory work was completed on invasive
species through an assessment of the treatment
of ballast wastewater from ships in order to
minimize introduction risks. This will be followed
by on-site tests aboard vessels. Annual
monitoring of fish communities makes it
possible to track changes in the composition of
communities and species likely to increase.
In support of the quality of resources in national
parks, a joint initiative with EMAN contributed to
a study of parasites in fish in national parks as
an indicator of disturbance.
State of the St. Lawrence River: Activities on the
state of the St. Lawrence were realized through
a federal–provincial collaboration regarding the
long-term monitoring of the St. Lawrence River
system’s main environmental components.
In 2003–2004, new data were collected from
surface sediment in connection with
contamination in Lake Saint-Pierre and Lake
Saint-Louis (heavy metals and organic
compounds such as PAHs and PCBs). The
new data complement an earlier profile of
St. Lawrence lake environments.
Cartographic analysis of St. Lawrence wetland
vegetation continued in order to complete the
geographic profile of area, distribution, and
abundance. An initial series of data was also
put online in the form of a series of maps
Monitoring of water quality and toxic substances
(heavy metals, etc.) in the St. Lawrence
continued, and a new water quality station was
set up in Carillon to determine the extent to
which the Ottawa River contributes to the overall
situation. A study began on the profile of
pesticides in Lake Saint-Pierre, including four
new stations at the mouths of tributaries that are
under pressure from agriculture (Yamaska,
Richelieu, and Nicolet and the outlet of the lake
on the south shore). A joint initiative with the
Quebec Ministry of the Environment to
incorporate data from stations farther upstream
and in other tributaries on the north shore of
Lake Saint-Pierre was undertaken.
Work was done in cooperation with the
Université de Montréal and the Quebec Ministry
of the Environment to conduct a feasibility study
on application of the CABIN protocol to the
St. Lawrence, with a view to monitoring benthic
Fact sheets were produced on the monitoring of
the state of the St. Lawrence in cooperation with
Fisheries and Oceans Canada–Quebec Region,
the Quebec Ministry of the Environment, and the
Societé de la faune et des parcs du Québec
through a joint federal–provincial committee.
These fact sheets are available at
effluent (geochemical behaviour of metals in
the dispersion plume found in urban effluents);
As part of the ongoing monitoring of the state of
the ecosystem, a workshop on indicators of the
state of the shores of the St. Lawrence was held
to take stock of knowledge, available data, and
future monitoring options. Another workshop
was held to evaluate communities’ contribution
to and interest in monitoring of the St. Lawrence.
Among the main concerns stated by the
community members who attended the
workshop, were the lack of consideration of and
use of local knowledge, and the lack of
monitoring of specific use of the river. The
community members also showed interest in
both supplying and distributing information.
a study of biomarkers and the combined
effect of parasites and urban pollution; and
measurement of the impact of urban effluent
on the abundance of parasites in fish in the
Ottawa and Richelieu rivers.
At the first Rendez-vous Saint-Laurent forum,
held in February 2003, a series of 16 fact sheets,
a general profile of the state of the St. Lawrence,
and a distribution schedule were released. This
was followed by a number of media interviews,
lectures, and presentations concerning the
state of the St. Lawrence. This interest in the
St. Lawrence was also conveyed through active
input into programming for the biennial State of
the Lakes Ecosystem Conference held in 2004.
The 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 INRS–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. Another link was established 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. Finally, there were
collaborations with INRE and 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 Ottawa.
Urban Pollution: In 2003–2004, new data were
collected in collaboration with the Montréal
Metropolitan Community. Close cooperation with
the authority responsible for the wastewater
treatment plant also fostered the establishment
of a new closed circuit laboratory to conduct
ecotoxicological analyses and help develop
disinfection technology tailored to wastewater
quality. Furthermore, a new team was set up to
better study pharmaceutical products and their
impact on urban effluent.
Work accomplished in 2003–2004 dealt with the
study of endocrine disturbances and the
potential feminization of certain organisms
exposed to urban effluent (impact of urban
sewage on fish and molluscs);
evaluation of the presence of nonylphenol
surfactants (endocrine disruptors) in urban
effluent (source, transport, and fate of
endocrine-disrupting chemicals);
documentation of the bioaccumulation of
heavy metals in the dispersion plume of
With a view to a joint project with the Institut
national de recherche sur les eaux (INRE) and a
tie-in with the Great Lakes, the health of the
spottail shiner, a reference species for Lake
Ontario and Lake Erie AOCs, was monitored.
The work was done in the St. Lawrence and the
Richelieu rivers.
Long-range Transport of Airborne Pollutants: In
2003–2004, under a national mandate on air
quality and the impact of acid components, 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.
Partnerships: Under a program on the impacts of
water level fluctuations, research projects were
undertaken with the Quebec provincial
government (Societé de la faune et des parcs du
Québec), universities (Université de Montréal
and Université du Québec à Montréal), and
regional components of Environment Canada
(St. Lawrence Centre, Meteorological Service of
Canada, and the Canadian Wildlife Service).
Close scientific cooperation also exists with
Environment Canada–Ontario Region as part
of the current review of the Lake Ontario and
St. Lawrence River regulation plan. Work is
moving forward in this third year of the plan
of study, and the first scientific results are
being published.
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 taken
part in the development of research and also
increased their expertise. The Pesticide Science
Fund has also contributed.
Lastly, it is important to mention the
Collaborative Mercury Research Network, which
is funded by the National Research Council of
Canada. The Collaborative Mercury Research
Network’s approximately 20 researchers take a
multidisciplinary ecosystem approach to the
impact of the presence of mercury in the
environment. The Meteorological Survey of
Canada’s significant contribution to maintaining
the integrated research station in Saint-François
Bay (Lake Saint-Pierre) continued in 2003–2004.
One of the network’s research themes is a better
scientific and ecosystem understanding that
could lead to modelling of the movement of
mercury between air, water, soil, and
2.3 Pacific Environmental Science Centre
The Pacific Environmental Science Centre of
Environment Canada’s Pacific and Yukon
Region has 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, 2004)
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 concentrations of pharmaceuticals and
personal care products in water bodies. Effluents
and receiving waters have been tested to
measure biological 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 biology. Results
from these studies will determine if receiving
water concentrations of effluent are capable of
causing endocrine disruptor effects on fish. The
studies have been conducted in agreement with
the Capital Regional District of Victoria and the
Greater Vancouver Regional District.
The Pacific Environmental Science Centre
laboratory is also in collaboration 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.
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 to identify sources of fecal
pollution. The method is used by the
Environment Canada Shellfish Monitoring
Program, B.C. Ministry of Water, Land and Air
Protection, First Nations, and several regional
health authorities to determine sources of water
contamination. The laboratory is working with the
University of Oregon to develop additional
primers to expand the current capabilities of the
existing method. The laboratory is collaborating
with researchers at the University of Victoria
under a Canadian Institutes of Health Research
grant to further develop the method.
Coalbed Methane Water Toxicological Study:
Since the fall of 2004, the Pacific Environmental
Science Centre has been conducting studies for
the B.C. Ministry of Energy and Mines (Oil and
Gas Division) on the potential toxicity of
groundwater associated with coalbed methane
mining. This new mining activity has the potential
to be very extensive in British Columbia. Limited
water quality information is available on the
water associated with coalbed methane. Studies
will determine the toxicity of extracted water to
several species of aquatic organisms.
Additionally, the study will aid in the
establishment of water quality guidelines for
coalbed methane mining operations.
Ammonia Toxicity Associated with Municipal
Wastewater: Since 2002, the Pacific
Environmental Science Centre has been
conducting toxicological studies in support of the
CEPA 1999 guideline for ammonia to determine
the toxicity of un-ionized ammonia dissolved in
water. These studies were conducted to
determine the effect of aeration on the shift of pH
in the standard toxicity test for water and aid in
the drafting of the CEPA 1999 ammonia
guideline. Results from this work were
instrumental in the recent publication of the
CEPA 1999 Guideline for the Release of
Ammonia in Water Found in Wastewater
Effluents, published in the Canada Gazette on
December 4, 2004.
2.4 Other Research Highlights
England and New York state. The reason for this
seems to be the abundance of wetlands in Nova
Scotia, which absorb atmospheric mercury and
allow it to be transmitted to other parts of the
Acid rain research in Atlantic Canada during
2003–2004 indicated that despite significant
decreases in sulphur deposition, the recovery to
former background levels chemical constituent is
not occurring. This is due to the long-term
degradation of poorly buffered soils in large parts
of Nova Scotia. Current research is aimed at
determining rates of recovery, as well as the
effects of nitrogen deposition, which has not
changed over the last 20 years.
In a collaboration among Nova Forest Alliance,
Halifax Regional Municipality Water Commission,
and other partners in the region, the impact of
changes in landscape characteristics (land cover)
in the Pockwock/Bowater watershed on stream
water quality was examined. Pockwock Lake is the
watershed source of drinking water for the city of
Halifax. This information will help to define the
streamside buffer zone for developing best forest
management practices.
A report on the state of groundwater quality in
the Minas Basin watershed in Nova Scotia was
initiated. This review will include an analysis of
groundwater availability, groundwater quality and
contamination, groundwater use, land use, and
environmental issues in the watershed.
Environment Canada conducts many waterrelated investigations in addition to the
research undertaken at the major institutes.
Interdisciplinary endeavours are often fostered in
partnership with educational institutions or with
the institutes or agencies of other governments
and federal departments.
Lastly, a protocol to summarize data from the
Nova Scotia Water Well Database (average well
depths, casing lengths, yields, etc.) was
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.
2.4.1 Atlantic Region
Environment Canada research during 2003–
2004 indicated that surface waters in parts of
Nova Scotia have the highest total mercury and
methylmercury concentrations of any location in
northeastern North America, including New
2.4.2 Atlantic Environmental Science Network
— Freshwater and Estuarine Ecosystems
Early in 2000, Environment Canada initiated the
development of an Atlantic Environmental
Science Network in association with Atlantic
Region universities. The broad focus of this
research network is to increase environmental
science capacity in the Atlantic Region. It is a
network of networks (thematic cooperatives),
including environment and human health, climate
change, watersheds, biodiversity, environmental
engineering, and marine life.
snow–water equivalent research, and
Progress (to March 31, 2004)
The Atlantic Environmental Science Network
held a workshop on Watershed Management
and Policy in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, in
November 2003. A prospectus was developed
for a Collaborative Research Initiative in March
2.4.3 Hydrology and Arctic Laboratory
In March 2003, the federal Environment Minister
announced the establishment of a national
laboratory for research in Arctic meteorology and
hydrometeorology. This laboratory is part of a
national network of laboratories designed to
complement Environment Canada’s existing
science and technology infrastructure for
atmospheric and hydrologic research. The
hydrometeorology component of the laboratory,
based in Saskatoon, is designed to take
advantage of the facilities and expertise already
in place at NWRI.
The laboratory will address the following two
themes: 1) meteorological applications in support
of hydrology and 2) hydrological applications to
address water resource issues. Priorities for
work in the hydrometeorology laboratory are
determined through client consultation sessions
involving representatives from the provincial
governments, universities, and other federal
government departments. The laboratory will
focus on the following activities:
Support to the Operational Hydrology
Community: Develop both model and data
products and real-time information
necessary for hydrological practitioners.
Coupled Models: Research into coupled
atmospheric hydrological approaches for
modelling water availability and the state of
the land surface across Canada in real time,
in conjunction with the operational national
weather forecasts.
Water Availability: Probabilistic quantitative
runoff forecasts and validation of both
quantitative precipitation estimate products
and land-use and runoff models.
Validation: Quantitative precipitation
estimate validation, snowfall estimates,
Drought monitoring and research: Provide in
kind, research and modelling support to the
Canadian Foundation for Climate and
Atmospheric Sciences funded Canadian
Drought Research Initiative.
Evaporation and sublimation studies:
Support Prairie Provinces Water Board
water apportionment agreements by
providing evaporation estimates to the
Committee on Hydrology.
2.4.4 Integrated Modelling of the
St. Lawrence River
Since 1997, the Hydrology Section of the
Meteorological Service of Canada–Quebec
Region has been working with partners on
numerical modelling 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 following:
pressures resulting from climate change and
from natural and anthropogenic changes
(e.g., hydro-electric developmentsand
construction of port infrastructures). With the
implementation of the web site 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 Direction du
milieu hydrique (in French only) of the Quebec
Ministry of the Environment, 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
Trois-Rivières, INRS–Eau, et École
Polytechnique), and the IJC.
Progress (to March 31, 2004)
In 2003–2004, hydrodynamic simulations were
completed for the reaches of the St. Lawrence
River between Cornwall and Trois-Rivières and
for the Ottawa River between the Carillon dam
and Lake Saint-Louis. The simulations represent
physical variables such as levels and currents for
a set of hydrological scenarios.
The Meteorological Service of Canada–Quebec
Region did simulations of the transport and fate
of pollutants in two separate exercises involving
several federal and provincial departments as
well as representatives of municipalities and
the private sector: 1) the benzene spill near
the City of Montréal wastewater outlet on
October 1, 2003, and 2) the gasoline spill in
Montréal harbour on November 13, 2003. A
number of integrated models were produced in
different areas and led to a series of scientific
communications involving multiple partners.
Among the issues addressed in those
communications and publications were
flooding and fish habitat assessment.
2.4.5 Climate Change, Impacts, and
In 2003–2004, the St. Lawrence Centre, in
cooperation with the Meteorological Service of
Canada, the Chair of Urban Ecosystem Studies
(Université du Québec à Montréal), and two ZIP
committees (in the Upper St. Lawrence and VilleMarie), completed a two-year study on the
integrated evaluation of climate change impacts
at the local scale (Lake Saint-Louis), including
four public consultations on impact and local
Public information meetings and discussions on
climate change and adaptations were held. In
the Quebec Region and for the area around
Lake Saint-Louis (St. Lawrence River), a series
of four information sessions in Montréal-area
ZIPs dealing with the Climate Change Action
Fund water resources project were held in 2003–
2004. The aim of the meetings was to share
information on the effect of climate change and
options for adaptation across a sub-basin of the
St. Lawrence. The meetings were conducted by
NGOs (Haut Saint-Laurent and Ville-Marie ZIP
The report, completed and produced jointly in
March 2004, covered local and regional climate
data, the hydrology of the environment, and
various water level scenarios (including
extremes) and analyzed the effects on a number
of sensitive uses (drinking water, shoreline
flooding, pleasure boating). The report also
included local data provided by residents and
members of various organizations.
This first integration report addressed both
impacts and adaptations and also covered the
work of researchers and representatives of
riverside communities. The information has been
posted on the Centre de ressources en impacts
et adaptation au climat et à ses changements
web site at
2.4.6 Water Modelling Workshop (Winnipeg)
Environment Canada sponsored a workshop in
Winnipeg in October 2003 that was designed to
provide an opportunity for participants to
collectively explore how the water modelling
community can collaborate more effectively to
advance issues of common interest. This event
brought together some 40 researchers and
policy-makers from Environment Canada, other
federal departments, provincial government
agencies, and the private sector. Specific
objectives were to:
provide a foundation for the development of
an integrated water science program within
Environment Canada that provides worldclass modelling capabilities for Canadians;
increase trust and promote open
communication within the modelling community;
• help senior management define the role and
leadership of various Environment Canada
laboratories as the first step towards
improving coordination of modelling activities
so that they directly support specific
departmental priorities, objectives, and
initiatives; and
develop a departmental vision and
framework on the way forward in
collaborative water modelling.
(Part IV of the Canada Water Act)
Background / Progress (to March 31, 2004)
1. Freshwater Web Site
The Freshwater web site continues to provide
basic information on a wide range of waterrelated topics, comprehensive educational
materials (e.g., A Primer on Fresh Water, the
Water Fact Sheets, 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) via the Internet. 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 events. The site is visited over
90 000 times each month by everyone from
students and teachers to academics and policymakers. It is also often referenced on other web
sites and in print material produced by other
The Freshwater web site can be accessed at
2. Water Survey of Canada Web Site
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.
It does this in collaborative agreements with the
provinces and territories. In the case of the
Province of Quebec, the Water Survey of
Canada has an agreement with that province
whereby the province collects water resource
data for the Water Survey of Canada. The
agency 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 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 web
site at
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 2003–2004, 70 000 visitors,
including 33 000 children, took part in
educational programs or toured exhibitions. One
exhibition, VIGILI URBANI, used images of fire
hydrants, symbols of the availability of water in
urban areas, to address the issue of drinking
water conservation. An exhibition entitled
Toute l’eau du monde gave visitors a better
understanding of the importance and value of
the St. Lawrence–Great Lakes watershed as a
source of fresh water for Canada.
In addition to exhibitions, the Biosphère offers
hands-on environmental projects through its
freshwater fish observation network and adopt a
waterway program. In these projects, more than
2500 young people learn to gather and analyze
data that help them assess the health of aquatic
4. RésEau – Building Canadian Water
Atlantic Region staff led the development of a
proposal for RésEau, which aims to create a
Government On-Line demonstration project to
highlight the discovery, access, and use of water
data and information. Information will include
quality, quantity, use, and availability dimensions
from surface water to groundwater sources
through existing and new multijurisdictional
partnerships. RésEau will be a web portal for
Canadians and partners to contribute and share
water data.
Developed, launched and promoted the
Pacific and Yukon Water Quality Monitoring
web site: (
home.htm). This pilot Web site project
provides timely assess to all Federal–
provincial–territorial water quality data from
all surface and groundwater sampling sites.
Information on the Web site includes:
surfing for water quality data by station,
geographic area and by river basins, water
quality guidelines, reports, publications, links
to community stewardship programs, on-line
resources including documents for designing
water quality monitoring programs and
"Contact Us" details.
Field and laboratory manuals and brochures
were written and distributed, and workshops
were given for Environment Canada's
Canadian Aquatic Biomonitoring Network
provides web-accessible resources such as
standardized sampling methods, a national
reference database for benthic invertebrates,
analytical software and reporting tools for
communities, general public and
professionals. 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 assessment. The development of
CABIN from a scientifically sound research
program allows stream keepers and other
watershed stewards to use the available
tools to take their observations one step
further to a formalized scientifically
defensible assessment.
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, a spatial database consisting
of several layers of hydrological features,
including rivers, lakes, and watershed
boundaries, that is designed to support waterrelated research and analysis.
The framework was released online and free of
charge to the public on June 29, 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
GIS. The framework is available at
6. Pacific and Yukon Region
The Aquatic Sciences Section in the
Environmental Conservation 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:
Promotion, distribution and organization of
the “Interactive Non-point Source Pollution
Model Poster” (
and the “Discover Your Estuary”
Both products have been sustainable, much
used and requested. They are available as
web-based information and as tools on the
Water Quality Monitoring, Green Lane, and
the Georgia Basin Ecosystem Initiative Web
sites. Hard copies of the model poster are
distributed widely by GVRD, within BC and
USA schools systems, Ducks Unlimited and
by DFO.
The following Canada Water Act Agreements1 were ongoing during 2003–2004:
Labrador, New Brunswick, Manitoba, Yukon,
and Northwest Territories
Apportionment and Monitoring Programs
Agreements on water quantity surveys with
all provinces and with Indian and Northern
Affairs Canada for the territories
Agreement Respecting Ottawa River Basin
Canada–Quebec State of the St. Lawrence
Monitoring Program (
Canada–Quebec Protocol on Administrative
Arrangements under the Canada–Quebec
Agreement on Hydrometric and
Sedimentological Networks in Quebec
Master Agreement on Water Apportionment
in the Prairie Provinces (Prairie Provinces
Water Board)
Water Management Programs
Mackenzie River Basin Transboundary
Waters Master Agreement
Water quality monitoring agreements with
British Columbia, Newfoundland and
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
Canadian Council of Ministers of the
Environment (CCME)
Interprovincial River Boards
Canada–Quebec Agreement St. Lawrence
Vision 2000
Lake of the Woods Control Board
Georgia Basin Ecosystem Initiative
Mackenzie River Basin Board
Great Lakes 2000 Program
Ottawa River Regulation Planning Board
Northern Ecosystem Initiative
Prairie Provinces Water Board
Arctic Council
International Joint Commission
United Nations Environment Programme:
GEMS/Water Global Environment Monitoring
Canadian Water and Wastewater Association
Ecological Monitoring and Assessment Network
Federation of Canadian Municipalities
Great Lakes Information Network
United Nations University: International Network
on Water, Environment and Health
HYDAT (Meteorological Service of Canada)
Associations, Networks, and Journals
Water Quality Research Journal of Canada
(Canadian Association on Water Quality)
Canadian Water Resources 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
St. Lawrence Centre
Environment Canada
105 McGill Street, 7th Floor
Montréal, QC H2Y 2E7
Tel.: 514-283-7000
Fax: 514-283-1719
e-mail: [email protected]
Regional Offices
Environmental Stewardship Branch
Sustainable Water Management Division
Environment Canada
Ottawa, ON K1A 0H3
Tel.: 819-997-2307
Fax: 819-994-0237
Director General
Environment Canada
Atlantic Region
45 Alderney Drive
Dartmouth, NS B2Y 2N6
Tel.: 902-426-4824
Fax: 902-426-5168
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
Director General
Environment Canada
Ontario Region
4905 Dufferin Street
Downsview, ON M5H 5T4
Tel.: 416-739-4490
Publications (Public Information Program)
Inquiry Centre
Environment Canada
Ottawa, ON K1A 0H3
Toll free: 1-800-668-6767
Local: 819-997-2800
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
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.
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