About Atlantic Water Network

Atlantic Water Network (AWN) is Atlantic Canada’s hub for community-based water monitoring. For nearly two decades, AWN has supported a growing network of over one-hundred community partner organizations throughout Atlantic Canada in all aspects of water quality monitoring. AWN achieves this by creating shared learning opportunities, offering tailored technical supports, and promoting local water priorities at both regional and national scales.

AWN is the regional lead for Atlantic DataStream, an open-access water quality database.

Atlantic Water Network is a project on MakeWay’s shared platform, which provides operational supports, governance, and charitable expertise for changemakers. The shared platform enables more time and money to go towards achieving greater impact. MakeWay is a national charity that builds partnerships and solutions to help nature and communities thrive together.


Atlantic rivers, lakes and wetlands are healthy and stewarded by local communities in the long term.


Atlantic Water Network strengthens community-based water monitoring in Atlantic Canada by creating shared learning opportunities, offering tailored technical supports and promoting local water priorities at both regional and national scales.

Community Partners

Organizations and individuals in Atlantic Canada can access AWN resources and network by becoming a Community Partner.

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Atlantic Water Network, formerly the Community-Based Environmental Monitoring Network (CBEMN), was founded in 2004 by Saint Mary’s University professor Dr. Cathy Conrad. After initially supporting the Sackville Rivers Association in Nova Scotia with their monitoring needs, Dr. Conrad realized that there was a need to support community-based environmental monitoring across the Atlantic Canadian region. Decades later, the legacy of this work has expanded to other regions in Canada and around the world.

Her foundational research was based on the premise of supporting community-based environmental monitoring and management through the provision of support and resources such as an Equipment Bank, online training, workshops and the creation of the WET-Pro monitoring toolkit. An early pioneer in the academic study of community-based monitoring and citizen science, Dr. Conrad has now moved on to other areas of research. Her legacy as the founder of the CBEMN is felt among watershed and stewardship communities across Canada and around the world.