It’s important to be transparent that this Shared Measurement System was designed from a non-Indigenous worldview and we recognize that Indigenous ways of knowing are absent from it. For more information on this positioning, see our Right Relations page.
Having access to reliable information about the health of our waters is vital to making good management decisions. If we don’t understand the health of our waters, we can’t fully understand the impact of pressures that threaten fresh water such as pollution, agricultural runoff, urbanization, natural resource extraction and climate change.
WWF-Canada has undertaken watershed health assessments of all the country’s sub-watersheds. In 2017, when WWF first released it's Watershed Reports, of Canada’s 167 sub-watersheds (based on the Water Survey of Canada’s "sub-drainage" areas), only 57 (34%) had sufficient, accessible data to assess overall health. In October, 2020, WWF updated the Watershed Reports, and this time 67 of the 167 sub-watersheds (40%) had sufficient, accessible data to assess overall health.
As WWF-Canada states, “Canadians deserve to know the state of their country’s watersheds.” Unfortunately, we are not collecting enough water data to give an accurate picture of watershed health across the country. As a result, for the majority of the country, we are unequipped to make decisions informed by good data.
5-Year target: Working with the Our Living Waters Network and other local data collection and reporting initiatives across Canada, we want to see at least 50% of Canada’s 167 sub-watersheds have sufficient data to assess their overall health.
Last updated October 2020