Community Watershed Monitoring

Community Watershed Monitoring


What is the Community Watershed Monitoring Network?

It's a partnership between the RDN's Drinking Water and Watershed Protection (DWWP) program, the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy (ENV), Island Timberlands LP (managed by Mosaic Forest Management), and many amazing community watershed stewardship groups in our region.

The RDN provides the equipment and works with ENV to complete annual training and data analysis. ENV contributes expertise in water quality testing, deciphering gathered data and guidance in program direction. Mosaic Forest Management sponsors the lab analysis costs for Quality Assurance and Quality Control, loans volunteers' safety gear, and provides access to the upper watersheds. Dedicated community groups donate their time, attending annual training sessions, calibrating equipment and getting out on their local streams to collect and monitor water quality data. 

Community Watershed Monitoring Network

To expand on the provincial database, collect enough data to see watershed trends and raise watershed health awareness in local communities. The long term objective is to use multiple years of data to determine which watersheds require more detailed monitoring and/or improved watershed management and to assist in land use planning. Data is collected for turbidity, dissolved oxygen, temperature and conductivity for 67 sites in 26 watersheds across our Region.

Additional lab analysis has and continues to be completed to further investigate what potential contaminants are associated with water quality exceedances observed in the data collection. In 2014 eleven sites in northern RDN waterways were sampled for E.coli and Phosphorus, in 2015 eleven sites in southern RDN waterways were sampled for E.coli, Phosphorous and metals, and in 2019 with nine sites sampled for Chloride (as a proxy for road run-off) and twelve sites sampled for Phosphorus (as a proxy for agricultural run-off). Further sampling for nutrients was completed in 2021 in-partnership with ENV in areas with upstream agricultural land-use.


Monitoring occurs once a week for 5 weeks in the summer low flow period (August - September) and once a week for 5 weeks in the fall flush period (October - November).


The 15 environmental stewardship organizations and Streamkeepers currently and previously involved are:

Stewardship Organizations table
Stewardship Organizations Maps
  • Cat Stream Stewards - for more information email stewardship(at)
  • Mid Vancouver Island Habitat Enhancement Society - Nanoose Group
  • Wexford Creek Streamkeepers - for more information email bcopeland3(at)
  • Quennell Lake Watershed Stewardship Society for more information contact the Ecoforestry Institute via email cheryl.bancroft(at)

There are 40 streams currently monitored by trained volunteers, these include:

  • Rosewall Creek
  • Cook Creek
  • Deep Bay Creek
  • Thames Creek
  • Nile Creek
  • Big Qualicum River
  • Annie Creek
  • Upper Cameron River
  • Cameron River
  • Little Qualicum River
  • Whiskey Creek
  • Harris Creek
  • Grandon Creek
  • Beach Creek
  • French Creek
  • Morningstar Creek
  • Morison Creek
  • Swayne Creek
  • Shelly Creek
  • Upper Englishman River
  • Englishman River
  • Centre Creek
  • South Englishman River
  • Craig Creek
  • Nanoose Creek
  • Knarston Creek
  • Bloods Creek
  • Walley Creek
  • Upper Millstone Creek
  • Millstone River
  • McGarrigle Creek
  • Departure Creek
  • Cottle Creek
  • Chase River
  • Beck Creek
  • Richards Creek
  • Cat Stream
  • Holden Creek
  • Nanaimo River
  • Mallett Creek
  • Wexford Creek

Active Sites By Group 2022

After three years of sampling, each site's results are reviewed and testing at sites with consistently good water quality is suspended for three to five years. This allows resources to be used to expand the network, adding sampling at new sites where needed.


Active and Inactive Sites 2022


2023 Report - CWMN Data Analysis Technical Memorandum

2021 Report - Community Watershed Monitoring Network Data Analysis (2011 - 2020) 

2018 Report - Surface Water Quality Trend Analysis for RDN CWMN Data (2011 - 2017)

2015 Lab Analysis Report - IWFF DCS VIU

2012 -2015 Water Quality Trend Report - Nanoose Streamkeepers

2012-2014 Water Quality Trend Report

2014 Data Summary Report

2011-2013 Water Quality Trend Report

2013 Data Summary Report

2012 Data Summary Report

2011 Data Summary Report


2023 Results Session Data to Action Dialogue - Graphic Artist Event Recording

2023 Results Session Guest Presenter - Ministry of Forests Hydrometric Monitoring

2023 Results Session Guest Presenter - BCCF Hydrometric Community Flo-Mo Network

2023 Results Session Guest Presenter - Weaver Technical Stream Mapping

2023 Data Collection to Action Infographic

2022 Data Summary - Results Session RDN Presentation Slides

2021 Data Summary - Results Session Recorded Presentation 

2021 Data Summary - Results Session Presentation Slides 

2020 Data Summary - Results Session Recorded Presentation 

2020 Data Summary - Results Session Questions & Answers 

2020 Data Summary - PowerPoint Presentation 

2019 Data Summary - Results Session Recorded Presentation

2019 Data Summary - Powerpoint Presentation

2018 Data Summary - Powerpoint Presentation

2017 Data Summary - Powerpoint Presentation

2016 Data Summary - Powerpoint Presentation

2015 Data Summary - Powerpoint Presentation

Results by Water Region 

Water Region 1 Big Qualicum

Water Region 2 Little Qualicum

Water Region 3 French Creek

Water Region 4 Englishman River

Water Region 5 Nanoose to South Wellington

WR 5-1 Nanoose to Nanaimo

WR 5-2 Nanaimo to South Wellington

Water Region 6 Nanaimo River

Water Region 7 Gabriola, Mudge, and DeCourcy Islands




British Columbia Approved Source Drinking Water Quality Guidelines Summary

British Columbia Approved Water Quality Guidelines: Aquatic Life, Wildlife & Agriculture Summary Report

ENV Ambient Water Quality Guidelines

ENV Water Quality

ENV Water Quality Objectives West Coast Region

ENV Water Stewardship Division


DWWP reports database

Our Watersheds Interactive Map

Riparian Analysis Map

RDN Water Map

Stewardship Seed Funding Support

Tool Lending Library Application Form

Tool Lending Library Equipment 

Water Budget Project 

Watershed Stewardship Network - Get Involved 


Community Watershed Monitoring Network program information (2020)

How to take a sample following provincial protocols (Temperature, DO, SpC, Turbidity)

How to complete monitoring equipment calibrations (YSI ProQuatro and LaMotte turbidimeter)

How to calibrate the Hach Turbidimeter - coming soon!

RDN YouTube Channel

Shaw TV - RDN Watershed Protection in the Englishman River

To learn more about how you can participate, contact watermonitoring [at]