A Monitor's Guide
to Water Quality
Water: Our Source of Life
The water that circulates in our world today – through the air, the land, and our bodies – has been here for billions of years. Water is unique in that it can dissolve and carry within it more substances than any other liquid. Wherever water travels it picks up and transports chemicals, minerals and nutrients. This is how healthy waters help sustain all life on Earth.
Alongside local, place-based, and Traditional/Indigenous knowledge, this information can support decision-making and action to help protect our waters, so they remain healthy for generations to come.
Dive into the world of water quality
What are the characteristics of fresh water? How are they measured? Why do they matter? Explore this guide to water quality to learn all this and more!
Topics you’ll learn about in the guide
Biological characteristics tell us about the things that live in the water, like bugs, algae, fish and bacteria.
Physical and chemical characteristics of water help shape the nature of aquatic ecosystems.
Nutrients are essential for the things that live in water but too many nutrients can be harmful.
Metals are a diverse group of elements that can occur naturally in water or be contributed to water from human activities.
Organic pollutants are a category of chemical characteristics that can be harmful to aquatic ecosystems.
Bringing water quality data together in one place provides a clearer picture of watershed health.
Order the print version of A Monitor's Guide to Water Quality
Colour illustrations and non-technical descriptions in this guide make learning about water quality easy and enjoyable for everyone – in the field or in the classroom!