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March 31, 2016

CCME Releases Manual for Developing Nutrient Guidelines

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The Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME) released in February 2016, a Guidance Manual For Developing Nutrient Guidelines for Rivers and Streams. The guidance manual provides a set of protocols to facilitate the development of nutrient guidelines for streams and rivers across Canada that are scientifically defensible and that take into account the natural diversity of watercourses. 

Eutrophication, which for the purpose of this manual is defined as the increase of aquatic productivity resulting from enrichment of surface waters with nutrients, is one of the major water quality issues in Canada.

Existing Canadian Water Quality Guidelines mostly address toxic contaminants and do not address the effects of nutrient enrichment on aquatic biota. When nutrient guidelines are used they often do not take into account the large natural variations in nutrients across different natural regions or the modifying factors that affect nutrient concentrations and biological responses.


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