Water Quality Standards, Objectives, and Guidelines

Water Quality Standards, Objectives, and Guidelines are one of a series of tools used to protect, maintain and where necessary, rehabilitate water quality. The Manitoba Water Quality Standards, Objectives, and Guidelines (en Français) were updated in July 2011 and were enshrined into regulation under Part Two of The Water Protection Act (en Français) on November 28th, 2011. As necessary, Manitoba Water Quality Standards, Objectives and Guidelines are incorporated into legally-binding licenses issued under The Manitoba Environment Act.

Periodic revisions to the Manitoba Water Quality Standards, Objectives, and Guidelines are necessary for the incorporation of new scientific research and inclusion of emerging issues, concerns and/or changes to priority areas regarding water quality.

The Manitoba Water Quality Standards, Objectives, and Guidelines are broken down into three sections: Tier I – Water Quality Standards; Tier II – Water Quality Objectives, and Tier III – Water Quality Guidelines.

Water Quality Standards

Water Quality Standards follow current and existing provincial and federal legislation and regulations which form a legal basis for controlling pollutants entering Manitoba waters from a variety of sources (e.g., municipal and industrial wastewater discharges).

Water Quality Objectives

Water Quality Objectives provide additional restrictions to protect surface and ground water uses (e.g., protection of aquatic life) for a limited number of common pollutants in Manitoba that are routinely controlled through the licensing process under The Manitoba Environment Act (en Français) where protection is required beyond the Tier I - Water Quality Standards.

As associated Excel spreadsheet is available for download to assist with the calculations required for a number of the Tier II Water Quality Objectives.

Water Quality Guidelines

Water Quality Guidelines provide science-based numeric limits or narrative statements for chemical constituents (e.g., trace elements, pesticides) and water quality conditions (e.g., pH, temperature) aimed to protect various water uses including:

  • source of drinking water;
  • recreation;
  • fish and other aquatic life;
  • sediment quality;
  • agriculture (e.g., irrigation and livestock watering); and
  • human and wildlife consumption of tissue residues.
Calculator

An Excel spreadsheet is available for download to assist with the calculations required for a number of the Tier II Water Quality Objectives.

Contact Us

For further information on Manitoba's Water Quality Standards, Objectives, and Guidelines please contact:

Water Science and Watershed Management Branch
Agriculture and Resource Development
Box 14, 200 Saulteaux Crescent
Winnipeg, MB, Canada, R3J 3W3

Telephone: (204) 945-0002
Fax: (204) 948-2357
Toll Free: 1-800-214-6497 (ext. 0002)
Email: waterquality@gov.mb.ca