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Canadian Environmental Sustainability Indicators: Freshwater Quality Indicator – Data Sources and Methods

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Canadians’ health and their social and economic well-being are fundamentally linked to the quality of their environment. Recognizing this, in 2004, the Government of Canada committed to establishing national indicators of freshwater quality, air quality, and greenhouse gas emissions. The goal of these indicators is to provide Canadians with more regular and reliable information on the state of their environment and how it is linked with human activities. Environment Canada, Statistics Canada, and Health Canada are working together to develop and communicate these indicators. Reflecting the joint responsibility for environmental management in Canada, this effort has benefited from the cooperation and input of the provinces and territories.

This report is part of a suite of documents released under the Canadian Environmental Sustainability Indicators (CESI) initiative1. Each indicator reported in a given year under the CESI has an associated “data sources and methods” report to provide technical details and other background to facilitate interpretation of the indicator or allow others to build further analysis using the CESI data and methods as a starting point.

The information in this report should be used to ensure a clear understanding of the basic concepts that define the information provided in the freshwater quality indicator, of the underlying methodology, and of key aspects of the data quality. This information will provide users with a better understanding of the strengths and limitations of the data, and of how they can be effectively used and analysed. The information is of particular importance when making comparisons with data from other indicators, and in drawing conclusions regarding change over time.

This report deals with the underlying methods and data for the freshwater quality indicator as it was reported in 2007.


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