Municipal Affairs and Environment

Canadian Water Quality Index (CWQI)

The Canadian Water Quality Index (CWQI) is a means to provide consistent procedures for Canadian jurisdictions to report water quality information to both management and the public. A sub-committee established under the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME) Water Quality Guidelines Task Group was responsible for its development. For a technical manual on the CWQI and other information please refer to the: CCME website. opens new window

Canadian Water Quality Index 1.0 Calculator


The CCME developed the original Canadian Water Quality Index 1.0 calculator. The NL Department of Environment and Climate Change’s Water Resources Management Division developed a second version with the same general purposes of automating the CWQI, however, modifying its design to suit the needs for application in Newfoundland and Labrador. The aim of the Newfoundland and Labrador CWQI model is to be able to input data for a particular water body and, in turn, compute indices for various water uses such as drinking water, aquatic life and recreation simultaneously for comparison purposes.

This particular version of the CWQI calculator allows the user to input site-specific objectives, or to utilize the CCME guidelines for various parameters. This is a user-friendly Excel 2002-based model programmed using Visual Basic for Applications. This model is available for download as an Excel 2002 file with documentation and three test datasets below.


The Canadian Water Quality index has been developed by the CCME and has been adopted by the Water Resources Management Division for the application in Newfoundland and Labrador. This has been programmed to run on Excel 2002 (SP-2) using Visual Basic for Applications. Service packs, such as SP-2 mentioned above, are free downloads from Microsoft which contain improvements for licensed products.

While every effort has been made to test the electronic spreadsheet, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador makes no warranties expressed or implied, as to the performance of this spreadsheet. Users are expected to use professional judgment in the application of the spreadsheet.

For additional information on the Canadian Water Quality Index or any other water resources related topics please contact us.

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