Condition of the environment – Water indicators

Learn about indicators reporting on Alberta's water quality and quantity.

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About water indicators

Alberta’s Environmental Science Program is responsible for monitoring, evaluating and reporting on Alberta’s waterbodies including lakes, rivers and groundwater. These activities help us to better understand current water conditions and long-term changes over space and time. Explore the indicators below to:

  • learn more about why these indicators are important
  • read about trends and status in Alberta’s water quality and quantity
  • access additional data and relevant resources

Explore water indicators

Water quality monitoring results for chloride concentrations.
Water monitoring results for chlorophyll-a and total phosphorus concentrations and Secchi depth.
Water quantity monitoring results for annual and seasonal water yield.

Feature resources

Large-scale water resource availability in Alberta

Alberta’s water scientists published a new paper providing baseline quantification of water distribution in Alberta and changes in water yield, streamflow timing and climate from 1976 to 2015. Learn about geographic drivers of changing water distributions in Alberta and the disparity between regions of water surplus and deficit.

Learn about Regional Variability and Changing Water Distributions in Alberta.

The scientific foundation for water quality monitoring

Learn about the key scientific questions, approaches and deliverables for a 5-year provincial water quality monitoring, evaluation and reporting plan for rivers and streams across Alberta. The goal of this plan is to provide a scientific foundation for understanding how various natural and anthropogenic stressors are potentially impacting water quality within Alberta’s rivers and streams.

Learn about A five-year provincial water quality plan.

Related publications

Scientific paper: Predicting Imminent Cyanobacterial Blooms in Lakes Using Incomplete Timely Data
Date published: January 2024
Authors: Heggerud, C.M., J. Xu, H. Wang, M.A. Lewis, R.W. Zurawell, C.J.G. Loewen, R.D. Vinebrooke and P. Ramaz

Scientific paper: Legacy coal mining impacts downstream ecosystems for decades in the Canadian Rockies
Date published: January 2024
Authors: Cooke, C.A., C.A. Emmerton and P.E. Drevnick

Scientific paper: A Comprehensive Biogeochemical Assessment of Climate‐Threatened Glacial River Headwaters on the Eastern Slopes of the Canadian Rocky Mountain
Date published: December 2023
Authors: Serbu, J. A., V.L. St. Louis, C.A. Emmerton et al.

Browse more publications

Water monitoring

Access data and learn about how Alberta’s Environmental Science Program monitors Alberta’s water quality and quantity: Environmental monitoring.