Freshwater environmental quality parameters are the natural and man-made chemical, biological and microbiological characteristics of rivers, lakes and ground-waters, the ways they are measured and the ways that they change. The values or concentrations attributed to such parameters can be used to describe the pollution status of an environment.
The water quality indicator developed for Yale and Columbia universities’ Environmental Performance Index (EPI) is a proximity-to-target composite of freshwater quality for lakes and rivers adjusted for monitoring stations’ density in each country. It has a possible maximum score of 100.
Data from 53 freshwater quality monitoring stations were used to calculate the Canadian score.
Calculation of the EPI was based on the most recent data available at the time of the analysis for each country. Data up to 2006 was used to calculate the EPI for Canada.
Caution is needed when considering the EPI water quality results because it is extremely challenging to develop assessments of environmental quality at the international level based on comparable and sufficient data collection.