Victoria, BC – June 1, 2016 – Today award-winning environmental science and consulting firm Foundry Spatial released a new online tool that provides detailed information about Alberta’s water resources at a fraction the cost and time of traditional water reporting methods.
The Alberta Water Tool provides accurate, real-time information on surface water resources, existing water allocations, and the needs of the natural environment through a point-and-click map that allows users to select a specific waterbody, and generate a comprehensive, up-to-date report in seconds.
“This is disruptive technology in action,” says Ben Kerr, Chief Executive Officer and Senior Water Scientist at Victoria-based Foundry Spatial. “Normally, it would take a professional hydrologist two weeks and $20,000 to prepare the kind of report we literally do in seconds, for about 1% of the cost.”
Visit the Alberta Water Tool: www.alberta-watertool.com
Developed to help scientists, industry explorers, communities and government decision-makers, the Alberta Water Tool uses innovative technology to collect and analyze data for each watershed, including estimates of water flow for rivers, lakes and streams, watershed characteristics such as land cover, climate and impacts from predicted future climate change across west-central Alberta.
“The best decisions are made when you have the best information,” says Kerr. The Alberta Water tool draws hydrological data from 30,600 surface and groundwater allocation points, and 185 hydrometric stations, for 181,000 unique watersheds in Alberta.
“This is a first in Alberta, but it builds on water resource mapping work we originally did in British Columbia,” says Kerr, who was the lead developer on the project. The first version of the engine powering the Alberta Water Tool was developed in 2012 for the Northeast Water Tool for the BC Oil and Gas Commission. It was recognized by a BC Premier’s Award for Regional Innovation, an award from the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of BC, and also won an Environmental Innovation Award at the Global Petroleum Show.
Today the Alberta Water Tool incorporates hydrology modelling science generated from the Integrated Assessment of West Central Alberta project, and is supported by several associations whose membership needs support for sound water management planning, including the Petroleum Technology Alliance of Canada (PTAC), the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) and 12 oil and gas industry companies currently operating in west-central Alberta. The development of the technology was supported by both the National Research Council-Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP) and Tecterra.
“The Alberta Water Tool will shake up traditional water research methods,” admits Kerr, “But that’s a good thing because now resource management experts can replace repetitive, time-consuming data gathering tasks with higher-order impact analysis and planning work.”
The Alberta Water Tool and its forerunner in BC are unique in North America as a water-resource decision-support tools. But not for long.
“This is just the beginning,” says Kerr. “We’re very excited to be rolling out sophisticated tools that support sound water resource management in other regions across Canada and the USA. Water is one of the biggest issues we are going to face in the future, and we need to better understand our water resources today in order to plan for tomorrow.”
About Foundry Spatial
Based in Victoria, BC, Foundry Spatial is an environmental science and consulting firm. Our expert team of scientists and programmers builds helpful tools that turn raw data into meaningful information for smart, sustainable, resource management decision-making. We have a proven track record, having delivered hydrology modeling and decision support tools for more than one million km2 of Western Canada. For more information, visit www.foundryspatial.com
About the Alberta Water Tool
More information about the new Alberta Water Tool can be found at: http://www.alberta-watertool.com