The MLA’s WQI is a science-based water quality monitoring program designed to measure key biological, chemical, and physical indicators of water quality in lakes throughout Muskoka. The WQI has been running since its inception in 2001 and updates and upgrades have improved the program through the years. The program is directed by the MLA Environment & Water Quality Committee, administered by support staff based at the MLA office in Port Carling, and implemented by a dedicated group of volunteers.
The MLA has adopted a long-term monitoring strategy for phosphorus, calcium, water clarity, and water temperature, and has introduced a monitoring strategy for dissolved organic carbon concentrations. Additionally, bacteria monitoring activities have focused on determining whether chronically elevated conditions exist in targeted nearshore recreation areas. This document provides a comprehensive overview of the monitoring program including sampling and analytical methodologies.