Guest Blog: Counting down the days to the Water Data Hub

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CBWN Senior Manager Tara Lynn Clapp (centre right). Photo by Louis Bockner

CBWN — I can hardly wait for the #WaterDataHub2017 in Invermere. I believe that this conference will prepare the ground for us to leap ahead as a region. In my role as Senior Manager of the Columbia Basin Watershed Network (CBWN), I feel a real need to improve access, sharing, and use of water data in decision-making by all those in the watershed.

Data Sharing: Our members are non-profit watershed stewardship groups, and we produce some great data. We would like to be able to easily share that data, along with the metadata that explains what makes it great data. One thing I’m excited about is the opportunity for our members to talk to other water data stakeholders about the kinds of data we are producing, and the steps we take to ensure that data collected follows standardized monitoring protocols and is scientifically robust and applicable in our communities.

Data Security: Many members who collect this data as volunteers are retired, and individuals may only volunteer for a few years before moving on to other things. We would like to ensure that our data does not get lost when we do. Our membership would really like to have a secure and common storage area.

Regional Framework: While our members are often most interested in specific places and specific local issues, we are definitely interested in contributing to a regional water monitoring framework. We are very interested in contributing to a larger understanding of water quality in the region.

For myself and for the members of CBWN, the Water Data Hub feels like a big opportunity to introduce ourselves to those with whom we share the watershed, and to shape the future of water data — and therefore the future of water decision-making.

Tara Lynne Clapp is the Senior Manager of the Columbia Basin Watershed Network.

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