New Brunswick has released its report, The State of Water Quality in New Brunswick’s Lakes and Rivers: Water Quality Monitoring Results 2003-2016.

“We are committed to working alongside watershed groups, stakeholders, and First Nations to undertake water quality monitoring and support restoration actions to ensure water quality in our rivers and lakes continues to be good,” said Environment and Local Government Minister Jeff Carr.

The report, which will be updated annually, summarizes water quality results from the province’s lakes and a network of 55 river monitoring stations. It outlines the department’s monitoring partnerships with federal partners and non-profit groups, and it provides details of other surface water monitoring programs.

As well, the report offers a brief overview of additional water quality issues that have been observed in the province’s surface waters, including invasive species and algae blooms.

Of note are Washademoak and French Lake, which were found to have the highest total concentrations of phosphorus of the province’s monitored lakes. The report called for greater analysis to determine the cause of these elevated concentrations.

The department has been routinely sampling rivers since 2003 and each year the water quality assessment has demonstrated that 80 per cent or more of sampling stations have either excellent or good water quality.

Breakdown of Water Quality Index in New Brunswick. Credit: Gov. of NB.

Overall, the results of the report were positive: “This report has illustrated that the majority of New Brunswick’s rivers and lakes have good water quality,” wrote the authors. “Over the last 30 years there have been significant improvements in surface water management programs, regulations and increased stewardship activities which have contributed to the improved state of the province’s surface water quality.”

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The report fulfils action item No. 1 in A Water Strategy for New Brunswick 2018 – 2028.

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