Water Monitoring Networks in Cold Climate Areas

Denis Couillard

DOI: 10.2190/FU3A-VDR5-TFXB-3Q8M


Public opinion, the scientific community, and special interest groups no longer accept major disruptions in the human environment without sound justification. In view of this social consciousness-level, private, public, and para-public enterprises must evaluate the impacts of their projects on the quality of the human environment, and seriously study possible alternatives. The use of methods for evaluating environmental impacts is only possible through acquiring and understanding basic data on the initial environmental conditions that can be altered by a project at a given site. Original environmental data can be obtained at the beginning of a project starting with the various data acquisition programs underway in several countries. Indeed, to further planning or monitoring efforts, numerous governmental and private organizations systematically generate basic environmental data. Following a brief review of the principle environmental impact evaluation methodologies, this article analyzes the methods for acquiring water quality data in use in three Nordic countries: Canada, Finland, and Sweden. For each country, the groups responsible for the data acquisition network are described by analyzing their objectives, techniques, successes and failures, efficiency, financial backing, personnel, and methods of data treatment.

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