Columbia Basin Water Monitoring Collaborative & Water Hub

Click this image to open the Monitoring Collaborative info sheet.

The Columbia Basin Water Monitoring Collaborative (Monitoring Collaborative) is the current iteration of the Columbia Basin Water Monitoring Framework and Data Hub Initiative that got underway in November 2017 when Living Lakes Canada co-hosted the Cracking the Code in 3D: Water Data Hub and Monitoring Framework conference to envision a Water Monitoring Framework for the Columbia Basin.

The Columbia Basin Water Hub is an open source “library” that can accommodate any file type where anyone can find a variety of data that refers to water within the Columbia Basin. Through this database LLC aims to house the data gaps that are identified by the Collaborative. The Water Hub will allow for informed, data-driven decision making in the Columbia Basin, offering a holistic approach to water management. Visit https://waterhub.livinglakescanada.ca/.

 

BACKGROUND

The conference was a follow up to the 2017 CBT report by Dr. Martin Carver titled Water Monitoring and Climate in the Upper Columbia Basin: Summary of Current Status and Opportunities in order to set the stage for a coordinated water data collection and applied decision making for the Basin. Additionally, conference participants discussed the development of a Columbia Basin Water Data Hub, a digital access point to store Columbia Basin open access water data in a way that supports decision-making across all levels. Following the 2017 conference, a database based on CKAN open source software was specified to meet the needs of the Monitoring Collaborative and is currently under development.

In February 2019, Dr. Carver released a follow-up report that draws on the Trust’s Water Monitoring Summary and information gathered during its preparation, to provide guidance for those interested in supporting water monitoring for Basin communities and ecosystems. Recommendations in Water Monitoring and Climate Change in the Upper Columbia Basin – Guidance Information for Planning Monitoring Programs provided the foundation for the Columbia Basin Water Monitoring Framework and Data Hub currently facilitated by Living Lakes Canada.

On June 8, 2020, LLC convened and facilitated a hydrology workshop with the purpose of developing recommendations for a phased expansion of the monitoring network for the Upper (Canadian) Columbia Basin (UCB).

DOWNLOAD THE UCB HYDROLOGY WORKSHOP PROCEEDINGS

The workshop objectives were:

  • to develop criteria for selecting (priority) watersheds to be included in a regional watershed monitoring network;
  • identify monitoring needs related to scientific objectives;
  • to develop a process for ranking monitoring needs in terms of both site locations and measured parameters;
  • and describe a potential phased implementation.

Greg Utzig, PAg, and Dr. Martin Carver, PEng/PGeo, PAg, provided a proposed approach to expanding the UCB monitoring network, and then the workshop participants actively engaged with the proposal, providing feedback on how it might be improved and implemented.

WATER HUB

Through the Columbia Basin Water Hub, the Columbia Basin Water Monitoring Collaborative is making critical water data readily available for the development of a Basin-wide water balance approach for subsequent water budgeting needed by decision makers for watershed management in an era of climate change impacting hydrological flows. Water data is important given the mounting pressures on increased freshwater needs, for not only human and industrial uses, but also for functioning ecosystems.

The Water Hub is a central place where all water related data relevant to Columbia Basin, collected by community groups and or local, regional and First Nations governments. Throughout this database a range of datasets, from water quantity and quality, groundwater, snow surveys, glacier studies, wetland related literature and studies and First Nations Traditional Knowledge will be available. In this way data collected over the years will also be housed in a central repository and not get lost or disappear once a data collecting project has sunset.

Direct questions about the Columbia Basin Water Hub to Database Manager Santiago Botero: santiago@livinglakescanada.ca

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