Developing a Community-Based Monitoring Program for Drinking Water Supplies in the Indian Bay Watershed: A Baseline Study of Surface Water Quality, Contamination Sources and Resident Practices and Perceptions

In rural Newfoundland, our watersheds are the life blood of our cultural and economic identity as well as providing critical drinking water supplies. Drinking water issues in rural areas are inextricably tied to the health of watersheds. Therefore, protection and conservation of watersheds and all of their components is vital to rural livelihoods and well- being. Land-use practices occurring in watersheds have an impact on water quality and health of the overall ecosystem, including the individuals that rely on these resources for subsistence, culture, and recreation.

The study has the following objectives:

  • To determine the presence of microbiological and/or chemical contaminants of surface waters and roadside springs in the Indian Bay watershed (elements of the local drinking water supply outside of the scope of the existing provincial monitoring program);
  • To determine population perspectives and practices related to water contamination, environmental management and sustainable solutions; and
  • To research community-based watershed water quality monitoring models employed elsewhere that may be applicable in Indian Bay along with their relative strengths and weaknesses.
Research Team