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Evaluating the State of Fresh Water in Canada

82% of freshwater monitoring stations in Canada report fair to excellent quality


By —— Bio and Archives--November 27, 2018

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82% of freshwater monitoring stations in Canada report fair to excellent quality
VANCOUVER—Canada’s freshwater supply and water quality across the country is generally very good, finds a new study released today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.

“Canadians are rightly sensitive about the country’s water supply, and the good news is that, overall, the quantity and quality of Canada’s freshwater is quite good,” said Ross McKitrick, professor of economics at the University of Guelph, Fraser Institute senior fellow and co-author of Evaluating the State of Fresh Water in Canada.

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The study finds that more than four out of five (82 per cent) of the country’s freshwater monitoring sites indicated fair to excellent quality between 2014 and 2016, and only two per cent of sites indicated poor water quality.

Improvements were noted in municipal wastewater and sewage treatment, regulatory compliance of mining operations, and run-off from pulp and paper plants, among other sensitive uses.

But there are ongoing areas of concern that must continue to be monitored, particularly in the densely populated and agricultural areas in the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River region.

The study also examined Canada’s quantity of freshwater—the third-largest renewable supply worldwide—and found Canadians consume only a small fraction (about one per cent) of the freshwater that is annually available in Canada.

“Stresses on water quality do exist, but the overall assessment of Canada’s freshwater is quite positive,” said Elmira Aliakbari, the Fraser Institute’s associate director of natural resource studies and study co-author.

Media Contact:
Ross McKitrick, Senior Fellow, Fraser Institute

Elmira Aliakbari, Associate Director, Natural Resource Studies, Fraser Institute

To arrange media interviews or for more information, please contact:
Bryn Weese, Media Relations Specialist, Fraser Institute
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Fraser Institute -- Bio and Archives | Comments

The Fraser Institute is an independent Canadian public policy research and educational organization with offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, and Montreal and ties to a global network of 86 think-tanks. Its mission is to measure, study, and communicate the impact of competitive markets and government intervention on the welfare of individuals. To protect the Institute’s independence, it does not accept grants from governments or contracts for research. Visit fraserinstitute.org.

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