The Columbia Basin Water 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 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, 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.
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 provides the foundation for the Columbia Basin Water Monitoring Framework and Data Hub currently facilitated by Living Lakes Canada.