February 6, 2006

Saskatchewan develops framework for assessing watershed health

REGINA, SASK-Saskatchewan has become the first jurisdiction in Canada to create a comprehensive plan for assessing the health of watersheds and aquatic ecosystems. Environment Minister David Forbes, who is also responsible for the Saskatchewan Watershed Authority, released a State of the Watershed reporting framework at a water management workshop in Regina on January 25. "Effective monitoring and assessment is the cornerstone of effective source water protection and management," he said in releasing the document. Using a report card model, Saskatchewan's future State of the Watershed reports will use a standardized set of indicators, based on a watershed model that recognizes the relationships between human activities, the condition of the watershed, and associated management activities. These indicators will provide a picture of a watershed's condition and whether the condition is getting better or worse. It will detect problems and measure progress toward management goals as well. More information is available from Dr Terry Hanley at the Saskatchewan Watershed Authority, 306/787-9982.

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