Surface Water Quality

Background
Technical
Reports

Public and
Stakeholder
Consultation

IWMP
Development

Glossary
of Terms

 

Draft Site-Specific Water Quality Objectives for the Red Deer River Basin with Emphasis on the Mainstem” was researched and written by Dr Anne-Marie Anderson based on advice and scientific review by the Technical Advisory Committee and comments and input from public and stakeholders.

Download surface water quality report

During the public and stakeholder consultation process, a number of important concerns were raised related to surface water quality in the Red Deer River system. Dr Anderson and members of the Technical Advisory Committee reviewed all those concerns and made recommendations to the Watershed Alliance.

The main concerns and rationale for including or not including them in the report are presented in the table below. A number of additional indicators were proposed, but, in many cases, water quality issues are addressed adequately by indicators already adopted in the report.

Concern Rationale for including or not including in report
Industrial use of water in Reaches 1, 2 and 3 (oil and gas) and 6 (other industry) Included
Need for water quality monitoring on Reaches 1 and 2 and at mouths of major tributaries Included
Add surface water quality issues: chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing Included
Add surface water quality issues: emerging contaminants including pharmaceuticals Included
Add surface water quality issues: water temperature Not included. Already monitored by provincial government at long-term river network sites.
Add indicator for nutrient enrichment: soluble reactive phosphorus, Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD), and Chlorophyll-a Not included. Total dissolved phosphorus (TDP) is an appropriate indicator; Dissolved oxygen (DO) is a more relevant indicator for describing the quality of surface waters; chlorophyll-a is monitored by provincial government at long-term river network sites and is of more relevance in lakes.
Add indicators for erosion and sedimentation: colour, sediment deposition and turbidity Not included. Colour is not a useful indicator because it can be an indicator of a host of different water conditions; it is unclear how sediment deposition could be incorporated into water quality monitoring; turbidity is already monitored by provincial government at long-term river network site.
Add indicators for salinity: electrical conductivity, sodium and calcium Not included. Provincial government already monitors electrical conductivity, sodium and calcium at long-term river network sites.
Add indicator for pathogen contamination: cyanobacteria, viruses Not included. Cyanobacteria are of much more relevance in lakes than rivers. Viruses would require additional specialized research.
Inclusion of major lakes in IWMP Will be included in the IWMP. Major lakes of the Red Deer River watershed are part of the IWMP. However, water quality targets / objectives will not be set for lakes, because these are being developed through a separate lake management planning process.
Need to indicate in the list of beneficial management practices (BMPs) that many organizations and individuals are already practising them Included in report.

Developing the surface water quality report
The Watershed Alliance spent from October 2011 to February 2012 developing draft surface water quality objectives for the Red Deer River watershed. The development of the objectives  benefited from the advice and hard work of the Watershed Alliance’s Technical Advisory Committee.

The objectives were reviewed at a series of three stakeholder workshops. Comments were also collected through an online response form.

Below is a presentation, which was given at the workshops, that describes the draft water quality objectives and how they were developed.

 

 

Menu IconMain menuContent IconContent