Monitoring involves collecting and analyzing information on the state of our water and land in order to identify changes and trends over time. It is also a means of verifying whether policies and programs are effective in protecting Muskoka's environment.
Long-term records of water quality data document changes and helps distinguish between a waterbody's natural variability and the impacts of human activity. In general, a long-term commitment for a modest sampling program is better than an extensive program which cannot be sustained because of a lack of funds or volunteers.
More formally, water quality monitoring is a scientifically designed system of long-term, standardized measurement, systematic observation, evaluation and reporting of water quality in order to define status and/or trends.The quality of water is determined by its physical, chemical and biological characteristics. These characteristics are measured in either a laboratory setting or on site in the field.