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Predicting water quality in Canada: mind the (data) gap


Miller, CB and Cleaver, A and Huntsman, P and Asemaninejad, A and Rutledge, K and Bouwhuis, R and Rickwood, CJ, Predicting water quality in Canada: mind the (data) gap, Canadian Water Resources Journal, 47, (4) pp. 169-175. ISSN 1918-1817 (2022) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright Statement

Copyright 2022 Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, as represented by the Minister of Natural Resource

DOI: doi:10.1080/07011784.2021.2004931


CanmetMINING, Natural Resources Canada, is in the process of developing a nation-wide baseline water quality database that compiles datasets from 14 different federal and provincial governments, water boards, conservation authorities, and private companies across the country and is continuing to expand. The objective of this project is to evaluate spatial and temporal changes in water quality and model the impacts of climate change on baseline water quality, now and into the future. To date, this project has standardized and aggregated more than 800,000 water quality records from more than 16,000 unique sampling sites, spanning 8 decades. This two-year process has highlighted a number of challenges with compiling a nation-wide database for research applications under the current model of water quality reporting in Canada. In light of these challenges, this commentary will highlight our observations as well as provide insights to inform future standardization of water quality reporting. This is particularly timely given the proposed development of a Canada Water Agency (CWA), whose goal is to promote collaboration between water management authorities, subject matter experts, and citizen scientists to "keep our water safe, clean and well-managed". This commentary provides insightful observations and lessons to support the ongoing development of the Canada Water Agency, a national data management strategy, and the future of water quality monitoring in Canada.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:water quality, climate change, big data
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Environmental management
Research Field:Natural resource management
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Terrestrial systems and management
Objective Field:Rehabilitation or conservation of terrestrial environments
UTAS Author:Miller, CB (Dr Clare Miller)
ID Code:154223
Year Published:2022
Deposited By:Earth Sciences
Deposited On:2022-11-14
Last Modified:2023-01-10

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