Transformative Sensor Technologies and Smart Watersheds for Canadian Water Futures (TTSW)

(Sponsor: Global Water Futures/Canada First Research Excellence Fund)

Canada’s water resources are vast and span an enormous range in geography, climate, and ecosystems. As such, decision makers facing water management challenges across Canada must rely on an unprecedented amount of data and are dependent on highly diverse environmental data streams and data analysis methods. Understanding and adapting to water futures within the changing Canadian landscape, both in the short and long terms, demands a transformative enhancement in the way environmental data are collected, integrated, analyzed and communicated. Although significant progress has been and continues to be made in the management of legacy environmental data, the provision of near-real-time data to support the resolution of emerging water challenges throughout Canada from a wide variety of stakeholders requires immediate additional attention. The rapid development of technology related to environmental data collection, transmission and processing, particularly through Canadian industry and research institutions, is providing an unprecedented opportunity for the delivery and analysis of integrated environmental data streams from multiple measurement scales to end users.

Terrestrial sensors and sensor networks, sub-orbital (aircraft and drones) and satellite platforms are in the process of rapid development relative to the nature of the parameters being measured and their cost-effectiveness. The integration or fusion of data from these different technologies (Big Data) presents significant challenges related to optimizing both the value and insight derived from the combined data as well as the approaches to communicating the data/information to various end-users and decision makers. Driven by end-user needs, the current project focuses on the development and testing of transformative technologies (terrestrial sensors and “smart” sensor networks; sub-orbital and satellite remote sensing) that is pan-Canadian in scale and targeted to support the emerging spectrum of water futures issues throughout cold regions.

Collaborating institutions: University of Waterloo (Claude Duguay, PI), University of Guelph, McMaster University, University of Saskatchewan

Visit the TTSW website for further information.