The Water Data Collaborative seeks to expand the Internet of Water’s (IoW) activities to include the proactive engagement of citizen science non-governmental organizations (NGOs) with the IoW community, to facilitate seamless integration of their data into the IoW technical framework, and to maximize the potential for their data to be included in public policy and community decision-making.
An Army of
Thousands of citizen-based and non-profit groups are collecting high-quality data on the nation’s water resources. These partners, shown as blue dots on the map below, dwarf state and federal water monitoring efforts and fill data gaps in areas previously considered “unmonitored.” If made accessible, this information will provide an enlightened picture of the condition of our nation’s waterways, leading to increased awareness, action and progress toward achieving clean water goals.
Data Making A Difference
A huge network of volunteer monitors already exists, but their individual efforts are not connected. A major focus of the Water Data Collaborative is to create systems that streamline the processes of collecting, uploading, and sharing data. Similarly, there are a number of highly effective tools and platforms designed to visualize and analyze data that have been collected, but they are often designed for a single partner. Scaling these efforts to larger geographies and more partners will provide a critical linkage transforming data to action. To this end, we have developed a framework that will catalyze data sharing among citizen and non-profit groups. Standardizing and facilitating data sharing will activate these data and provide a foundational component of the Internet of Water.
Creating a Network of Regional Data Hubs
Water management is a local issue at its core. Throughout the country, NGO power users are already acting as regional leaders in water data collection efforts. We will initially focus on increasing their internal capabilities and growing their networks through training, capacity building, technology sharing and product development. Networking citizen monitoring data will be the engine that drives the Internet of Water. Our goal is simple: to increase the flow of privately collected NGO data in open-access data portals by making it easy to upload the data and creating incentives for doing so.