WWF-Canada’s Watershed Reports have a new home at Water Rangers, powered by AquaAction.

By AquaAction, Water Rangers and WWF
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WWF-Canada’s Watershed Reports have a new home at Water Rangers, powered by AquaAction. 

(Ottawa, ON) Canada’s Watershed Reports, the first national-scale assessment of the state of freshwater in Canada, have a new steward: Water Rangers assumed responsibility for the Watershed Reports in June of 2023, and work is underway on the third edition of the reports, which will be published in the fall of 2024 on the Water Rangers website. AquaAction will take on the exclusive sponsorship of the Watershed Reports. 

WWF-Canada (World Wildlife Fund Canada) created the Watershed Reports to identify and address critical knowledge gaps about freshwater health in Canada. Prior to the creation of the reports there was no nationally standardized assessment of Canada’s watersheds, resulting in poorly informed management decisions – a concerning situation given the vital importance of watersheds to our ecology, economy, culture and history. The Watershed Reports are one solution to addressing the challenges of collecting data across such a vast area and making data on freshwater health available to the public. 

WWF-Canada published the first national picture of the health of, and threats to, Canada’s freshwater in 2017, with assessments completed for each of Canada’s 25 major watersheds and their 167 sub-watersheds. The first Watershed Reports confirmed how little we knew about freshwater health in many regions; significant data deficiencies for more than 65% of Canadian sub-watersheds prevented them from receiving an overall score. The first reports also underscored the need for regular updates to national assessments, as new data become available, to maintain accuracy. 

In 2020 WWF-Canada released an updated assessment showing that data deficiency was still a major concern, with nearly 60% of sub-watersheds not being attributed a score. Of the watersheds with sufficient data to be assessed, 64% received a score of Good or Very Good. To this day, Watershed Reports are still the only national-scale assessments of watershed health and threats of their kind in Canada. Stewarding the database and reports is a significant undertaking and WWF-Canada has decided to transition responsibility for Watershed Reports to Water Rangers, recognizing their dedication to water monitoring in Canada and trusting them to continue this important work to inform water decisions in Canada.

Water Rangers’ team has begun work on the third edition of the reports, set to be published in the fall of 2024. This work includes the formation of an expert advisory committee and review committee to inform the reports and review the data assessment prior to public release. The Watershed Reports will also have a new home, on a Water Rangers’ run website. Water Rangers has committed to regularly updating the assessment. 

AquaAction has joined Water Rangers as the exclusive sponsor of the Watershed Reports, and is supporting the transition to the new home, as well as the creation of the 2024 report. Water Rangers is the first winner of the AquaHacking Challenge, the flagship program of AquaAction. 

With Water Rangers assuming leadership of the Watershed Reports, WWF-Canada will focus on supporting the restoration and protection of freshwater habitats that were identified as priorities by the Watershed Reports, through the Nature and Climate Grant Program as well as other efforts support Katzie First Nation in restoration in the Lower Fraser River in BC and collaborative work to restore the Saint John River watershed in New Brunswick.

 “We are excited by this transition and evolution of the Watershed Reports and feel that, with Water Rangers’ expertise in data, community engagement and communication, they are the ideal organization to take on the Watershed Reports. This will allow WWF-Canada to focus on restoring degraded freshwater ecosystems; for example, supporting restoration led by Katzie First Nation in the Lower Fraser River to benefit salmon and species at risk and increase carbon sequestration.” Elizabeth Hendriks, VP of Restoration and Regeneration of WWF-Canada

 “Water Rangers has admired WWF’s work on Watershed Reports since their first publication and see the reports as a unique and important tool for all Canadians to become engaged in freshwater stewardship. We are honoured to take on the role of the stewards of the Watershed Reports! We are committed to the standard of excellence Canadians expect for all upcoming Watershed Report assessments.” Kat Kavanagh, Executive Director of Water Rangers 

“We are proud to support Water Rangers, champions of the inaugural AquaHacking Challenge in 2015, as they spearhead this extraordinary endeavour!  Data holds the key to effective water management, but without profound analysis, it remains mere numbers. The WWF-born Watershed Reports is the gold standard that will continue to support AquaAction, and the climate adaptation industry, to pursue groundbreaking, data-fueled solutions that will protect our planet.”, said Soula Chronopoulos, President of AquaAction.


About the Watershed Reports (​​https://watershedreports.wwf.ca): WWF launched the Watershed Reports in 2017, Canada’s first wide assessment of the country’s watershed focusing on four indicators of river health and seven key threats.

About WWF-Canada : WWF-Canada is committed to equitable and effective conservation actions that restore nature, reverse wildlife loss and fight climate change. We draw on scientific analysis and Indigenous guidance to ensure all our efforts connect to a single goal: a future where wildlife, nature and people thrive.

About Water Rangers (https://www.waterrangers.ca): Water Rangers is a national organization dedicated to supporting scientists, both professional and volunteer, to collect baseline water quality data. Their team has significant knowledge of the freshwater landscape in Canada and are experts at disseminating information in a publicly understandable way. Water Rangers’ was the winner of the first AquaHacking challenge, in 2015

About AquaAction (https://aquaaction.org/): AquaAction’s mission is to restore freshwater health in North America by engaging talented young innovators, activating their technologies, and supporting them as they turn their solutions into results. AquaAction’s programs include the AquaHacking Challenge and AquaEntrepreneur. 


Media Contacts

Ellen Jakubowski, WWF-Canada, ejakubowski@wwfcanada.org 

Emelia Duguay, Water Rangers, emelia@waterrangers.ca

Laurence Basso, AquaAction, laurence@aquaaction.org