A Quest for Water Quality
From water quality data collection, to interpreting and reporting, to implementing agreements with provinces, Dr. Jean-François Bibeault’s work with water stretches across Atlantic Canada.
Dr. Jean François Bibeault points to a map of Nova Scotia’s CESI water quality index scores.
Photo: Marcel Houle © Environment Canada, 2011
Dr. Bibeault is the Acting Manager of Environment Canada’s Atlantic Fresh Water Quality Monitoring group. His teamsupports a number of Environment Canada programs including the Canadian Environmental Sustainability Initiative Water Quality Indicators(CESI WQI) and the Canadian Aquatic Biomonitoring Network (CABIN).
Before he began his career at Environment Canada, Dr. Bibeault was inspired by the concept of making links between urban development and environmental impacts, and using science to support the development of public policy.
“Water quality and aquatic life status and trends tell us about the limitations that contaminants put on the natural environment. Moreover, it is possible to study over time if the water quality has degraded further and if one should act or not. This information helps us evaluate if the situation is sustainable,” he says.
Assessing the quality of Atlantic Canada’s water
Dr. Bibeault and his team work hard to meet their commitments and continuously improve their sampling, interpretation and reporting approaches and methodologies while collaborating with partners and respecting jurisdictional mandates.
Dr. Bibeault says that working at Environment Canada has been a pleasure since he started over 20 years ago. In fact, he finds his job to be so interesting that he cannot imagine working anywhere else in the foreseeable future.
Although his job is challenging, Dr. Bibeault is constantly inspired by the high level of dedication and innovation he witnesses every day. He also never forgets why he first got into this field: “All of us work in the field of the environment for the benefit of those who will follow us: our children!”
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