Muskrat Lake Watershed Water Quality and Quantity Monitoring Network
Algonquin College co-op student Paul Cipriani measuring dissolved oxygen on the Snake River tributary, 2017
Since 2014, the MWC has partnered with Algonquin College’s Office of Applied Research and the Environmental Technician Program to collect monthly water quality and quantity samples at 24 sites from May-November within the Watershed. The 24 sites were selected by a group of local and regional professionals and scientists, as well as some farmers and community members with knowledge of the Watershed.
After water is collected (sampled), the samples are shipped to the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) to be analyzed at their accredited lab. To date, the MOECC has contributed approximately $100,000 of in-kind lab analysis for the Watershed.
Algonquin College students collecting water samples in the Muskrat Lake watershed, 2016
Is 1-year of sampling enough?
In order to get a good representation of the water quality in the Watershed, it is important to sample for 3-5 years, if not more, depending on weather conditions and/or any other factors that could influence the samples (e.g., erosion, contamination, etc.). Long-term sampling allows for some consistency over time.
What does this information do for the Watershed?
Data on the overall water quality of the Watershed can help to inform us about where we should focus our efforts for remediation and/or best management practices implementation. In collecting data on water quality, we are gathering important information about the current conditions of the Watershed. Year-to-year information allows us to develop a kind of inventory, or “story”, of what’s happening at a biophysical level within the Watershed. This helps us to understand potential impacts on our community and work together to collaborate on ways to see lasting positive change in our Watershed, and our community.
For more information, please read the MWC Muskrat Lake Watershed Quality Report (2014) written by Dr. Rebecca L. Dalton, Research Scientist (Biologist and Environmental Toxicologist).