Pipeline Threats
Measures sub-watersheds in Canada that are threatened by federally monitored pipeline incidents

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.


The debate on new pipelines in Canada has never been greater. And there’s no doubt that watersheds with pipeline’s have been impacted by incidents of water contamination. In 2015, the National Energy Board took a giant leap towards public transparency by publishing an incidents map detailing pipeline incidents across the country.

Wherever there are pipelines, there are pipeline incidents. Some may be relatively minor, but others can have lasting effects on water in the region. A 2017 spill leaked 25,000 litres of crude oil just west of Bragg Creek near Calgary. The area is popular for outdoor recreational activities but was contained and cleaned in just over a week with restoration efforts following. In 2016, a spill in Saskatchewan leaked 225,000 litres of oil into the North Saskatchewan river and shut down drinking water for North Battleford, Prince Albert and numerous other communities in the region.

The good news is, pipeline incidents only threaten 16% of the watersheds in Canada. WWFs Freshwater Health report identifies that 65% of watersheds have no threats identified by transboundary pipelines. However, this indicator only measures transboundary pipelines regulated federally. Any pipelines that are entirely within a provincial boundary would not be included.

Last updated June 2017

Note: The data presented here represents our best research given the time and resources at hand. We acknowledge there may be errors. This shared measurement system belongs to all members of the Our Living Water Network, so if you have any corrections for us, or ideas to share on this measure, please send us an email at [email protected].

Pipeline Threats|Measures Canada’s sub-watersheds that are threatened by federally monitored pipeline incidents.
Pipeline Threats|Measures sub-watersheds in Canada that are threatened by federally monitored pipeline incidents
Imagine a Canada where all waters are in good health: