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

Check back regularly to browse updates including new indicators reporting on the condition of water quality and quantity in Alberta.

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

Enhanced data collection through collaboration

Alberta’s water scientists and monitoring staff have teamed up with EPCOR, the City of Edmonton and the North Saskatchewan Watershed Alliance to better understand water quantity and quality data collection along the North Saskatchewan River from multiple perspectives and needs.

Learn about the WaterSHED Monitoring Program

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

Reports, articles and other publications reporting on the condition of Alberta's water quality and quantity.

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    Polycyclic Aromatic Compounds in Rivers Dominated by Petrogenic Sources after a Boreal Megafire

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    Year published: 2022
    Authors: Cooke, CA., Emmerton, CA., Yi, Y., Levesque, L., and Glozier, N.

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    Downstream Modification of Mercury in Diverse River Systems Underscores the Role of Local Conditions in Fish Bioaccumulation

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    Year published: 2022
    Authors: Emmerton, C.A., Drevnick, P.E., Serbu, J.A., Cooke, C.A., Graydon, J.A., Reichert, M., Evans, M.S., and McMaster, M.E.

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    Evaluation of quality control data from Alberta’s lotic water monitoring programs : 2016-2019

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    Year published: 2022
    Authors: Laceby, J.P., Chung, C., Kruk, M.K., and Kerr, J.G.

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    Natural and anthropogenic impacts on the geochemical composition and metal speciation of fine sediment in a glacier-fed Canadian river basin

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    Year published: 2022
    Authors: Stone, M., Collins, A.L., and Laceby, J.P.

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    Chloride in Surface Waters of Alberta’s Rivers – Condition of the Environment Report 2021

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    Year published: 2022
    Authors: J. Patrick Laceby, Cecilia Chung, and Jason G. Kerr

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    Alberta’s River Water Quality Monitoring Programs

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    Year published: 2022
    Authors: Laceby, J.P., Kerr, J.G., and Emmerton, C.A.

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    Linking catchment structural units (CSUs) with water quality: implications for ambient monitoring network design and data interpretation

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    Year published: 2022
    Authors: Orwin, J.F., Klotz, F., Taube, N., Kerr, J.G., and Laceby, J.P.

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    Tracing total and dissolved material in a western Canadian basin using quality control samples to guide the selection of fingerprinting parameters for modelling.

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    Year published: 2021
    Authors: Laceby, J.P., Batista, P.V.G., Taube, N., Kruk, M.N., Chung, C., Evrard, O., Orwin, J.F., and Kerr, J.G.

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    Spatial and Temporal Shifts in Historic and Future Temperature and Precipitation Patterns Related to Snow Accumulation and Melt Regimes in Alberta, Canada.

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    Year published: 2021
    Authors: Newton, B.W., Farjad, B., and Orwin, J.F.

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    Quantifying seasonal succession of phytoplankton trait-environment associations in human-altered landscapes.

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    Year published: 2021
    Authors: Loewen, C.J.G., Vinebrooke, R.D. and Zurawell, R.W.

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    Quantifying Meltwater Sources and Contaminant Fluxes from the Athabasca Glacier, Canada

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    Year published: 2020
    Authors: Staniszewska, K. J., Cooke, C. A., and Reyes, A. V.

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    Severe western Canadian wildfire affects water quality even at large basin scales

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    Year published: 2020
    Authors: Emmerton, C.A., Cooke, C.A., Hustins, S., Silins, U., Emelko, M.B., Lewis, T., Kruk, M.K., Taube, N., Zhu, D., Jackson, B., Stone, M., Kerr, J.G., and Orwin, J.F.

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    Chloride inputs to the North Saskatchewan River watershed: the role of road salts as a potential driver of salinization downstream of North America’s northern most major city (Edmonton, Canada)

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    Year published: 2019
    Authors: Laceby, J.P., Kerr, J., Zhu, D., Chung, C., Situ, Q., Abbasi, S. and Orwin, J.F.

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    Multiple land use activities drive riverine salinization in a large, semi-arid river basin in western Canada

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    Year published: 2017
    Author: Kerr, J.

Water monitoring

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

Contact Alberta's Environmental Science Program or the Office of the Chief Scientist:

Email: [email protected]

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