Lake research

How healthy are Canadian lakes? To answer this question, we must monitor lake health and the threats posed by human activities, but to date, there has been limited coordinated action to monitor lakes, especially to compare current and historical data. For many lakes, we have little relevant data.

This is a problem faced by policymakers, lake associations, municipalities, lake managers, scientists and the general public. It affects decision-making at a time when lakes are threatened by multiple and complex factors.

Research, collaboration and management

Through multidisciplinary projects, Lake Pulse researchers will address these critical questions:


Is lake degradation widespread in Canada or worse in certain regions?


Is lake health getting better, worse or staying the same?


How does land use and climate change affect lake health?

National analysis of lakes

By bringing together lake research, environmental protection and policy communities across Canada, we can better understand, manage and conserve lake resources. The NSERC Canadian Lake Pulse Network provides:

  • A coordinated survey of lake health across Canada
  • Robust and comparable sampling methods
  • Collaborations between academics and government
  • New tools for lake management

Accessible data

When tackling freshwater issues, science-based information is required, but key data are missing or not accessible. The NSERC Canadian Lake Pulse Network aims to provide accessible and relevant scientific information:

  • Environmental data provided in a way that is easy to use and understand
  • New indicators of lake health for monitoring programs
  • A national lake database that everyone can access

Lake Pulse is a nationwide effort from 2016 to 2021 to study Canadian lakes: