An important component of the overall management of surface waters is the development and use of predictive, analytical, and interpretive tools. These include guidelines which establish limits for toxic substances in the ambient environment for the protection of various water uses. Guidelines such as the CCME Canadian Environmental Quality Guidelines are used to help interpret water quality results from monitoring programs to assess whether water uses are supported or compromised.
Other tools include predictive tools such as a phosphorus loading model which predicts effects of nutrient discharges and helps manage activities having nutrient rich discharges such as the User’s Manual for Prediction of Phosphorus Concentrations in NS Lakes (PDF:1.5mb). Another tool which can be used to help communicate water quality results is the Canadian Water Quality Index which has been developed through the CCME.
See the report entitled "Application and Testing of the Water Quality Index in Atlantic Canada" for more information on testing in Atlantic Canada.
This Water Quality Index has been used recently to communicate water quality monitoring results through the Canadian Environmental Sustainability Indicators (CESI) report.
Additionally, surface water related data, GIS, maps and publications are useful tools for managing these resources, completing surface water investigations, and for responding to surface water related inquiries.