Hydrometric program: a national partnership

A National Partnership

Canada's water resource serves a diverse and complex ecosystem. The management of this resource has evolved as a cooperative endeavour between the federal and provincial governments. The national hydrometric program is a good example of this cooperation. This program provides for the collection, interpretation, and dissemination of surface water quantity data and information -- information that is vital to meet both water management and environmental needs across the country.

Today the need for this information is greater than ever: not only have the water management and environmental issues increased tremendously over the past 125 years, but they are more complex and may have international implications as well.

Our hydrometric program is carried out under formal agreements signed between Environment Canada and each of the provinces and Indian and Northern Affairs representing the territories in 1975, under the Canada Water Act. The agreements provide for the collection of surface water quantity and sediment data on a national basis, with costs shared according to specific interests and needs.

The federal and provincial partners meet annually to review and adjust the hydrometric program according to need. The cooperative nature of the program has allowed the partners to work together for the benefit of all. The program's flexibility has permitted it to adapt to the changing needs of water management in each part of the country, and will now help it to address the emerging needs for environmental conservation and protection.

Perhaps most important of all has been the commitment of the partners -- to maintain national standards, develop hydrologic expertise, implement efficient modern technology, and provide water resource data and information to all those who need it.

As a result, these agreements continue to provide an efficient and necessary service to the various governments, private industry, and the Canadian public, an excellent example of governments working together for a common goal.

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