- The Great Lakes are the largest fresh surface water system on the planet. These lakes provide drinking water to 8.5 million Canadians and support a quarter of Canada’s agricultural capacity.
- The Northwest Territories and Nunavut cover 34% of Canada's land mass and have 18% of its lake area
Human activity can degrade freshwater quality. Industrial discharge of wastewater and runoff from agricultural land, gardens, lawns, roads, and urban areas can pollute nearby lakes, rivers, and streams with various materials toxic to wildlife, habitats, and ecosystems
Canada has over 30,000 lakes larger than 100km2 in surface area. Almost 9% of the country’s surface is covered in freshwater. For many lake culture defines what it means to be Canadian. These water bodies also crucially provide drinking water, support food production, hydropower generation, resource extraction, transportation, recreation, biodiversity and climate regulation. Yet, climate change, agricultural intensification, shoreline development and urbanization are mounting pressures on the health and ecosystem services of lakes, and their associated social and environmental benefits. To respond, we require solutions that improve our ability to adapt and respond to and mitigate factors that impact lakes and their watersheds.