Manuel Garcia-Melgares posted an articleScientifically defensible watershed reports for over 230,000 km2 of Alberta see more
The Alberta Water Tool provides accurate, scientifically defensible watershed reports for over 230,000 km2 of Alberta
Victoria, February 4th, 2019 Foundry Spatial is pleased to announce that it has completed and released a major expansion to the Alberta Water Tool, which now covers the entire Athabasca River Basin in Alberta.
First launched in 2016 to provide water management planning capabilities to industry and government stakeholders, the Alberta Water Tool provides a platform for industry, government, and the public to easily access water information in support of environmentally sustainable water management.
The Alberta Water Tool is a web-based decision support tool, providing accurate, scientifically defensible watershed reports at any location across more than 230,000 km2 of Alberta. These reports combine information on water supply generated from hydrology models, with information regarding existing water allocations and environmental flow needs for any region of interest. In a matter of seconds, users have actionable information which would otherwise take five to 10 days of effort for a professional to produce.
Over the course of 2018, the Alberta Water Tool produced 1,447 watershed reports. This represents an opportunity value of more than $7 million, which has benefitted water users, government regulators, and the environment.
Expansion of the Alberta Water tool was supported by the Alberta Upstream Petroleum Research Fund administered by Petroleum Technology Alliance Canada (PTAC) and the Sustainable Water Management in the Athabasca River Basin Initiative – a project delivered by WaterSMART Solutions with funding from Alberta Innovates, Alberta Energy Regulator, Alberta Environment and Parks, ATCO, Repsol Oil and Gas, Suncor Energy, and Westmoreland Coal Company.
- The Alberta Water Tool is available across more than 230,000 km2 of Alberta, including parts of the Peace, Athabasca, North Saskatchewan, and Red Deer River watershed.
- Reports can be produced for 240,000 unique watersheds.
- The Athabasca expansion includes the lower portion of the Athabasca River, and also provides current and future hydrologic variability information for the Athabasca watershed, from the Athabasca River Basin Initiative.
- More than 11,000 water licenses are represented in the Alberta Water Tool.
For more information on the Alberta Water Tool, please visit: https://alberta-watertool.com
Lauren Gilmore, Communications Manager
Tessa Bousfield posted an articleA free new tool allowing government, First Nations, industry and members of the public to access... see more
Victoria, BC – Aug 3, 2016 – Award-winning environmental science and consulting firm Foundry Spatial today unveiled a free new tool allowing government, First Nations, industry and members of the public to access detailed information on water supply in the Cariboo region of the province.
The Cariboo Water Tool presents monitoring information from 1,500 stream flow, groundwater, water quality and weather measurement stations in the central portion of the Fraser River watershed. It also uses innovative technology to estimate mean annual and monthly discharge for user-defined watersheds at over 180,000 locations, and provides an overview of watershed characteristics including vegetation and topography, along with an overview of current climate and projected climatic conditions.
“The Cariboo Water Tool is very fast and easy to use,” says Ben Kerr, CEO and Senior Water Scientist at Victoria-based Foundry Spatial. “Traditional hydrologic data analysis requires days or weeks to generate information to prepare and adjudicate water license applications. With the Cariboo Water Tool, users can get meaningful information within a few seconds.”
Water license applicants can use the information from the Cariboo Water Tool to help them during the water use application process. Likewise, regional water managers can use modeled flow and environmental flow needs information to support their water allocation decisions. This allows users to not only see what the long term average water availability for their location of interest is, but also to estimate what is happening at locations where there is no monitoring data.
“The Cariboo Water Tool joins a suite of GIS-based tools we developed to support decision-making on water-use planning and approvals,” says Kerr. Building on the success of the Northeast, Northwest, and Omineca Water Tools, and the Water Portal, the Cariboo Water Tool summarizes information on all water-use licenses, and provides government decision-makers with guidance on environmental flows and potential water supply in a format that is transparent, readily accessible, and easily interpreted.
Developed by Foundry Spatial for the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, together with the Ministry of Environment and the BC Oil and Gas Commission, the BC Water Tools are unique in North America as water resource decision-support tools.
The information used in the Cariboo Water Tool was developed through a modeling process that used 119 hydro metric stations in BC, the Yukon and Alaska.
The Cariboo Water Tool allows users to generate reports describing the hydrology of over 180,000 watersheds in the region.
The Cariboo Water Tool includes information on currently active water approvals issued under the Water Sustainability Act.
The Cariboo Water Tool includes historical and current environmental monitoring data from over 1,500 locations in the region.
Cariboo Water Tool: http://cariboo.bcwatertool.ca
Omineca Water Tool: http://www.bcwatertool.ca/owt
Northwest Water Tool: http://www.bcwatertool.ca/nwwt
BC Water Portal: http://www.bcwatertool.ca/waterportal
Alberta Water Tool: http://alberta-watertool.com
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
VIATEC posted an articleBen Kerr is a Victoria native, mountain biker, foodie, father, CEO and Lead Analyst for Foundry Spat see more
You won’t believe what the panelists called Ben Kerr during Experience Tectoria’s Showcase Showdown!
Ben Kerr is a Victoria native, mountain biker, foodie, father, CEO and Lead Analyst for Foundry Spatial, and our Tectorian of the Week!
There can be no arguing that Ben is not a true Tectorian. He was born and raised here, is a UVic geography grad, gets involved in local organizations with his two young daughters, is growing a local tech company doing very cool things, and says “I have never had a reason to leave and plan for it to stay that way! Victoria has such a beautiful natural setting and it is really beginning to emerge culturally and business-wise. I feel like Victoria is starting to build an amazingly unique new identity which is up there with the best places in the world!"
Foundry Spatial provides environmental analytics SAAS tools, with a primary focus on water. They offer customers complete, streamlined environmental and watershed information - meaning they can answer questions that directly impact the viability and sustainability of both a business, and its surrounding environment.
Ben started the company out as a one man environmental consultancy, or as he recalls, “me in my garage with a bunch of spiders." Over the last 6 years Foundry Spatial has grown steadily, and now they're rolling out a national service at the end of the year, that will provide a network of waterway understanding all across Canada!
Why would someone need to know how much water is in a river?
The Showcase Showdown panel asked Ben the same thing during Experience Tectoria. His answer really helped to win over everyone in the room, because of the information he provided, and the affable manner in which he responded.
If you asked Ben again he would say “people need water to drink and for day to day life. Fish and all kinds of other animals depend on rivers for their livelihoods. Farmers use the water from rivers to grow the food we eat. Industries need water too to keep our economy going, things like hydro and energy production, pulp and paper, and oil and gas. With demand growing from all these sectors and the challenges we're facing in a changing climate, technology can help us find balance. It's everyone that cares about water!”
Ben and Foundry Spatial participated in both the Demo Camp and Showcase Showdown during Experience Tectoria. In the Showcase Showdown he reached the final pairing, and the panel called him "the hands-down friendliest contestant!"
What's next for Foundry Spatial?
They have their sights set on expansion across the rest of North America in the next three years. Ben asserts that “we'll continue to prioritize the areas of greatest need, where demand and shortages are causing conflict.”
From water, to gravel (and the end of this article)
Ben started his career in gravel exploration. It may not be the most widely appealing topic, but Ben loves it, so one of the guys in his office offered to add some flair to that story for him...
Born at age 7, Ben knew that one day, he would grow up to stare at rocks in a serious way. One day, he found the best gravel he had ever seen, but his bucket was broken.
His desire for gravel persists, driven by the one that got away.
The one gravel.