Collaborative Monitoring Initiative

Supporting BC's Water Monitoring Networks

Building community-based water monitoring capacity is a gateway to better watershed health outcomes. The Collaborative Monitoring Initiative (CMI) seeks to test the viability of a coordinated program that supports regional water monitoring champions and a province-wide approach for collaborative water monitoring in BC.

This initiative builds on several years of work among the BC Water Funders Collaborative, regional monitoring champions, and the Province. The potential benefits of a collaborative monitoring network were identified in the 2020 Water Monitoring & Reporting Initiative (WMRI), a partnership between the Province and the BC Water Funders Collaborative.

Person collecting water data in Boundary Bay.
Monitoring in Boundary Bay. Photo credit: A Rocha Canada, 2021.


By harnessing the energies of communities, emphasizing common values, using available Indigenous water knowledge and science, and building a collaborative framework among governments, industries, and communities, the CMI will support integrated watershed management.


This pilot program seeks to improve outcomes for watersheds by:

  • identifying options for a sustainably resourced monitoring program to support regional monitoring champions; and
  • supporting a provincial water science and knowledge strategy.

Collecting water samples in Vancouver. Photo credit: Fraser Riverkeeper Society, 2021.


The program advances its objectives through three core strategies:

1. Convene & Coordinate
Provide direct support for a cohort of Indigenous and non-Indigenous regional collaborative initiatives and create a community of practice for collaborative water monitoring in BC. Facilitate communications among freshwater monitoring groups through outreach, direct engagement, and peer learning.

2. Support & Learn from Regional Monitoring Champions
Learn from regional collaborative initiatives to inform and scale up a provincial program which ensures integration and alignment among regional, provincial, and federal monitoring initiatives.

3. Develop Tools and Resources
Ensure that tools, guidelines, resources, and frameworks are available to support regional monitoring needs, and inform specific decisions. Build upon and implement past recommendations identified by regional champions, the Collaborative and the WMRI with strategic guidance from an CMI Advisory Network.

Linking Monitoring Programs to Decision Making

CMI creates opportunities for peer learning in all aspects of water monitoring as shown in the Water Knowledge Mobilization Framework. The framework includes all the activities necessary for effective adaptive management.

Gather: acquire water data (project planning, data collection)
Share: manage it (organize, store, share, interpret, analyze, report)
Apply: use it in a variety of decision-making processes (planning, restoration, advocacy, regulatory, evaluation, etc.)

Image of the Water Knowledge Mobilization Framework and its three elements: gather, share, and apply.

Program Partners

The Collaborative Monitoring Initiative is a partnership between BC Freshwater Legacy Initiative and Watersheds BC, projects of MakeWay, and POLIS Water Sustainability Project.



Ania Javorski
Collaborative Monitoring Initiative Coordinator
[email protected]