December 12, 2005

Newfoundland develops digital water quality contour maps for industry, public use

ST JOHN'S, NFLD-Newfoundland and Labrador has become the first province to develop digital water quality contour maps for use by the general public. Available on the Department of Environment and Conservation's Web site, the maps have been developed using up to 15 years of data collected under the Canada-Newfoundland Water Quality Monitoring Agreement with Environment Canada. Environment and Conservation Minister Tom Osborne said the maps are very useful for screening water quality for various industries and facilities, such as freshwater aquaculture sites, that require water quality parameters to be within optimal levels. The maps identify natural and anthropogenic causes for higher-than-expected levels of particular parameters such as those for metals and salts. They are also of use to other provincial and federal government departments, consultants and environmental groups for various water projects. The maps will be updated every five years as new water quality data becomes available. More information on the contour maps is available from the department's water resources management division, 709/729-2563; they may be viewed at www.env.gov.nl.ca/env/Env/waterres/WQMA/Contours/WQMA_Contours.asp.

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