IBM has partnered with the Southern Ontario Water Consortium to develop a data integration platform to manage Canada’s 80 sq km Grand River watershed, using sensor technology to collect data such as water turbidity and quality.
IBM said Monday the platform uses at least 120 meteorological, surface, subsurface and groundwater sensors that integrate 600 data points an hour for analysis every 15 minutes.
With IBM’s Intelligent Water software and cloud computing infrastructure, results from the environmental data are expected to help predict floods, monitor the supply of drinking water and determine the possible effects of growth and urbanization in the area, among other uses.
The company also highlighted the real-time data analysis and automatic alerting features of the platform to enable timely responses to critical environmental events called “triggers.”
“This is an application of smart technologies to offer a rare, perhaps unprecedented understanding of the influence of urbanization and associated land use management in watersheds under various degrees of development,” said Dan Fortin, IBM Canada president.
According to IBM, the area around Grand River is a combination of urban, agriculture and forested land and has a population of more than 750,000.
“The opportunities enabled by highly-instrumented, data-centric smart watersheds will not only improve understanding of watershed management challenges, but will allow the development of new tools for monitoring and incorporating real-time data into decision-making,” said Brenda Lucas, SOWC executive director.