Columbia Basin Water Data Hub and Framework

In November 2017, 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. As a follow up to the CBT report, by Dr. Martin Carver titled “Water Monitoring and Climate in the Upper Columbia Basin, Summary of Current Status and Opportunities”, that would coordinate water data collection and applied decision making, an endeavour particularly relevant to the region’s higher-volume users such as communities and municipalities, hydropower operators, agricultural producers, industrial operations, ski resorts (snowmaking), as well as commercial and residential users. 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.

Scientists, government officials, industry staff, community groups, First Nations, and technology experts presented best practices examples of water monitoring initiatives, water data hubs and community-based water monitoring from B.C., across Canada and the U.S. A shared understanding about water monitoring frameworks and water data storage needs was coupled with broad agreement that both a Framework and an open access Data Hub are required to meet the needs within the Basin, and that now is the time to move this forward.