New wave of reports will increase understanding of climate change impacts on freshwater health


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

Ottawa, September 12, 2023 — In the face of raging fires and floods across Canada, understanding the impacts of climate change on the country’s freshwater resources and their role in climate change adaptation is more critical than ever. Since 2017, WWF-Canada’s Watershed Reports have provided a national-scale assessment of the state of freshwater in Canada. Now, Water Rangers is taking up the mantle of stewardship for the reports and will publish an updated edition in 2024, sponsored exclusively by AquaAction.

With a shared mission to break down barriers to healthier waterways through innovation, Water Rangers and AquaAction will work with governments, researchers, and community-based water monitoring groups to ensure this next edition of the Watershed Reports shows the progress Canada has made in freshwater health since 2020 and the gaps that still need to be filled. The 2024 reports will be timely given the recent disturbance to Canadian ecosystems from fires and floods and the forthcoming creation of the Canada Water Agency, and will call on decision-makers, academics, and the public to continue to collect data and act on improving Canada’s water health.

The first Watershed Reports, published by WWF-Canada (World Wildlife Fund Canada) in 2017, confirmed how little we knew about freshwater health in many regions; more than 65 per cent of Canadian sub-watersheds couldn’t receive an overall score because there wasn’t enough data. The reports underscored a need for better mechanisms to collect and share data for evidence-informed decision-making, which prompted investment in watershed monitoring, health, and data sharing. The second edition of the reports published in 2020 showed encouraging progress, but in the face of severe climate impacts, Watershed Reports remain a critical tool for monitoring changes in freshwater health over time and identifying where more action is needed.

Currently, the Water Rangers team is forming an expert advisory committee and a review committee to inform and review the data assessment before public release of the third edition of the reports. With Water Rangers assuming leadership of the Watershed Reports, WWF-Canada will continue to champion and use the results of the Watershed Reports to improve the health of freshwater habitats through restoration initiatives across Canada.


“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, WWF-Canada

“We are honoured to take on the role of the stewards of the Watershed Reports! Water Rangers have championed WWF-Canada’s work on Watershed Reports since their first publication and see the reports as a unique and important tool for all Canadians to engage in freshwater stewardship. We are committed to the standard of excellence Canadians expect for all upcoming publications.” — Kat Kavanagh, Executive Director, 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.” — Soula Chronopoulos, President, AquaAction


About the Watershed Reports ( WWF-Canada 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 Water Rangers ( 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 ( 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.

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.


Media Contacts

Ellen Jakubowski, WWF-Canada, [email protected]

Emelia Duguay, Water Rangers, [email protected]

Laurence Basso, AquaAction, [email protected]