Province of Alberta's North Saskatchewan River Tributary Monitoring Network Program

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The Province of Alberta monitors surface water quality in streams and rivers across the province on behalf of Albertans. River water quality monitoring consists of core long term monitoring programs, as well as short-term focused studies with defined scientific questions. The Tributary Monitoring Network (TMN) is a core program comprising water quality monitoring stations located on small tributaries of Alberta’s major rivers. A major driver for the TMN program is the need to better understand environmental change associated with activities such as forestry, agriculture, resource extraction and climate change. Further information is available in “A five-year provincial water quality monitoring, evaluation and reporting plan for lotic systems”, found here:

Version 3.0.0
Data Steward Email
Data Collection Organization Government of Alberta, Environment and Protected Areas
Data Upload Organization Government of Alberta, Environment and Protected Areas
Progress Code onGoing
Maintenance Frequency Code asNeeded
Topic Category Code inlandWaters
Keywords Water quality, Alberta, North Saskatchewan River, tributary, TMN
Spatial Extent -116.473° 52.002°, -110.337° 53.897° (W S, E N)
Temporal Extent 2018-09-11 to 2022-03-24
Date Published
Alternate Formats FGP-HNAP ISO:19115-2 (XML) , W3C DCAT (XML) , W3C DCAT (JSON-LD)


Government of Alberta, Environment and Protected Areas. 2022-12-22. "Province of Alberta's North Saskatchewan River Tributary Monitoring Network Program" (dataset). 3.0.0. DataStream.

Funding Sources

Government of Alberta, Epcor Water Canada

Data Collection Information

The TMN program (80 stations in 2021) includes monthly, and rarer sub-monthly, grab sampling of water for chemical analyses at analytical laboratories, as well as in-situ measurements of water quality by calibrated, hand-held data sondes (e.g., dissolved oxygen, water temperature). The collection of grab samples is typically at a depth of 30 cm at various lateral positions across the river, depending on safety considerations and available equipment (e.g., boats). Collected samples are analyzed for general chemistry (e.g., pH, alkalinity, suspended sediments), biologicals (e.g., coliforms, algal pigments), and concentrations of nutrients (e.g., phosphorus, nitrogen), carbon (e.g., dissolved organic carbon), trace metals (e.g., copper, lead, selenium), and trace mercury. Collection of QA/QC occurs randomly across all TMN locations nested by field staff offices in Grande Prairie, Edmonton, Calgary, and Lethbridge. Field blanks and duplicates are collected each month for the analysis mentioned above and are submitted to the labs blindly. Further information on Alberta’s QA/QC program is provided in “A five-year provincial water quality monitoring, evaluation and reporting plan for lotic systems” found here:

Data Collection Processing

All water quality data produced by accredited laboratories is subject to internal laboratory QA/QC protocols that may include internal spike recoveries, blank corrections, etc. Electronic data files from laboratories, and field staff, are initially loaded as preliminary data into the temporary tables of Alberta Environment and Parks’ Provincial Monitoring Program database. Preliminary data undergo a process of verification and validation by field staff, data stewards, and project scientists that includes confirmation of metadata and the addition of appropriate measurement qualifiers appended to data points based on criteria specific to the analyte. Removal of data occurs rarely, and only when a known, confirmable issue deems the data point to be invalid. Validated data, signed off by the project scientists, are migrated to the main tables of the database by data stewards, and made available for consumption.

Open Government Licence (OGL)

See disclaimer for details.

Data Disclaimer

The data have gone through a verification or validation process; however, occasional errors or anomalies may occur. Users should be aware of changes and improvements to field sampling and analytical laboratory methods (for example, improved method detection limits) when comparing water quality samples collected over time.

API Access

curl -G --data-urlencode "\\$filter=DOI eq '10.25976/0gzc-jm81'" -H "x-api-key: PRIVATE-API-KEY"



Added new dataset 2018-2022 to reflect nomenclature changes to headers.

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Added new observations from fiscal years 2020-21 and 2021-22.

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DataStream system update: set citation to recommended default.


initial submission

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