A Snapshot of Community Based Water Monitoring in Canada

This report presents survey results from hundreds of organizations across Canada.

The health of Canada’s freshwater is consistently ranked as a high priority for Canadians. Water monitoring is a tool used by governments and communities alike to assess the health of watersheds and improve decision-making about freshwater resources. This tool is particularly effective when monitoring data are consistent, accurate, and robust. However, at present, there are insufficient data to assess the health of more than half of Canada’s major watersheds. This issue is further complicated by the decreasing capacity of governments to collect water data in recent decades. In response to these challenges, and the growing concerns of citizens regarding watershed health, Canada is experiencing an upsurge of community-based monitoring (CBM).

This report, supported by ACT, explores how many programs exist, where they are located, what is being monitored, how data is managed, where it is housed, how it is accessed, how data collection is funded, and the relationship between CBM data collected and policy development.