Our Ambitious Goal: All Canada’s Waters in Good Health by 2030

To measure shared progress towards the ambitious goal of all waters in good health by 2030, we first need to have a clear understanding of what good water health means. Canada’s waters will be in good health when these results are achieved:

Canada’s water is safe for swimming and drinking and safe from contaminants.

The flow of water in Canada’s rivers and lakes supports life, recreation and a healthy environment.

Fish are flourishing in Canada’s waters and are healthy to eat.

Aquatic bugs that form the base of the food chain are thriving in Canada’s waterways.

How are we doing?

Water health indicators are high-level metrics that help us quantify the achievement of our results. We’ve adopted the following six indicators from WWF-Canada’s Watershed Reports that track the health of Canada’s waters and signal if conditions are getting better or worse:

How do we get there?

Our ambitious goal, results, and water health indicators provide a north star for organizations within the OLW Network to head towards. However these metrics are high-level, making it difficult to attribute progress on any of these fronts to specific actions. That’s where winning conditions and impact measures come in.

Winning conditions are a set of circumstances that, when brought together, are likely to contribute to achieving the results. Impact measures are the metrics we use to measure progress on achieving our winning conditions. Together, the winning conditions and impact measures provide a roadmap for the entire freshwater community to pursue together.

Winning Conditions
  • Informed People
  • Engaged Constituencies
  • Robust & Accessible Information
  • Nested Watershed Governance
  • Enforced Legal Standards
  • Sustainable Built Environments
  • Supportive Economies

What it means

The Canadian public understands the value of healthy water, and that Canada’s water is not unlimited, has threats to its health and needs protecting.

Impact measures

These impact measures signal whether we are making progress towards this winning condition:

What it means

Diverse constituencies with influence engage in effective decision making and exercise authority to ensure the health of all waters.

Impact measures

These impact measures signal whether we are making progress towards this winning condition:

What it means

Accessible, scientific, traditional and local knowledge to monitor, assess, and report on freshwater health and to anticipate and understand emerging issues.

Impact measures

These impact measures signal whether we are making progress towards this winning condition:

What it means

A public policy framework enables nested watershed governance and collaborative decision-making that addresses the unique contexts, needs and opportunities that exist at different scales.

Impact measures

These impact measures signal whether we are making progress towards this winning condition:

What it means

Enforced legal standards that reflect sustainability principles provide consistent regulatory backstops to ensure human and aquatic ecosystem health.

Impact measures

These impact measures signal whether we are making progress towards this winning condition:

What it means

Human-made surroundings and their supporting infrastructure function in harmony with watershed ecosystems.

Impact measures

These impact measures signal whether we are making progress towards this winning condition:

What it means

Economic systems support healthy watersheds.

Impact measures

These impact measures signal whether we are making progress towards this winning condition:

Impact measures for this winning condition are still under development.

Interested in learning more?

Download our Primer on Our Living Waters to learn more about the process and technical aspects of our ambitious goal, results, water health indicators, winning conditions & impact measures.

Learn more

Our Ambitious Goal: All Canada’s Waters in Good Health by 2030
Our Ambitious Goal: All Canada’s Waters in Good Health by 2030
Imagine a Canada where all waters are in good health: