Fresh Water Data Commons

Harnessing data to improve water use, conservation and management.

Project Overview

Updated March 31, 2023.

The Problem

Fresh water is critical to our health, communities and economic future.

The global supply of this precious resource is under constant threat from increasing demands for human and industrial uses, and from growing pressures fuelled by climate change. According to a 2016 United Nations Report, water consumption is predicted to rise 85 per cent by 2030 with demand expected to outstrip supply by more than 40 per cent.

Monitoring water use and supply is essential for overcoming these challenges. Collecting data can also provide a real-time view of ecosystem health and better inform water use, conservation and management.

How We Are Solving It

Carl Data Solutions is leading the Fresh Water Data Commons project, which includes Teck Resources Ltd., Microsoft, Astra Smart Systems, i4C Innovation, Living Lakes Canada, the University of Victoria and Genome BC. The goal is to develop and deploy a platform (FlowH2O) for harnessing water monitoring data from an entire river basin to better understand the health of the surrounding ecosystem.

This project is focused on the Columbia Basin in southeastern B.C. The region has a diverse geography ranging from remote wilderness to large industrial water sites. Data, monitoring and water management systems from municipalities, industry, regulators and Indigenous communities are connected, and their information stored centrally and securely in the Cloud.

Real-time data is also being collected across the pilot area with a network of low-power, low-cost sensors to measure water quantity, water quality, as well as precipitation and other climate data. This biomonitoring data will improve our understanding of the relationship between water quality, microorganisms and industrial activities. In addition, real-time data combined with visualization tools will improve regional water management.

The Result

This project integrated various sources of data (including environmental monitoring data through solar-powered sensors) and eDNA research to understand ecosystem health, specifically of major water systems in the Columbia Basin, to better inform water use, conservation, and management. The project developed a flexible, affordable and scalable platform, FlowH2O, that analyzes and processes large amounts of water data to understand water management needs.

Project Lead

  • carldata1

Project Partners

  • genome@2x e1632647383283
  • livinglakes e1632647363542
  • microsoft@2x e1632716841590
  • uvic@2x e1632647468257
  • teck

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