Nova Scotia Environment's water monitoring programs are used to track long-term trends in surface water quality and quantity and to assess the effectiveness of water resource management programs. Monitoring programs are an essential tool for checking on the status of the province's surface water, assessing the impact of human activities on this resource, and evaluating long-term surface water trends associated with issues such as acid rain, eutrophication, and climate change.
The department's key surface water monitoring programs are: the Canada/Nova Scotia Hydrometric Network (archived data for stream flows), (Map of Hydrometric Stations in Nova Scotia (PDF:1mb)) the Nova Scotia Lake Survey Program which inventories lake water chemistry and lake morphometrics (such as depth, volume, and stratification), and the Automated Surface Water Quality Monitoring Program which tracks water quality on an hourly basis at 5 locations in the province.
Other surface water monitoring programs which the department participates in include:
- Gulf of Maine Gulfwatch Program
- Pockwock Lake Study
- Lake Acidification Monitoring Program
- Mercury in Sportfish Monitoring Program
The department supports various volunteer and municipal water quality monitoring groups including: