Columbia Basin Water Hub
Given the mounting pressures on fresh water, water data is critical for decision making, not only for human and industrial uses, but also for functioning ecosystems. The Columbia Basin Water Hub makes water data readily available to those who need to access it.
The Water Hub contains numerical and spatial data, reports, photos and other types of information about streams, lakes, wetlands, groundwater, snow, glaciers and climate in the Columbia Basin, both historical and current. The data is accessible for decision makers, researchers, students, professionals and the public.
Data can be submitted by community-based monitoring groups; municipal, regional or First Nations governments; Indigenous knowledge holders; the private sector; or academia. Data can also be linked to existing databases.
To learn more about how we operate the Water Hub and how we manage the data, refer to the Water Hub Framework and Data Management Plan.
To learn more about the development, implementation and outcomes of this project, refer to the report A Transboundary Water Data Solution for the Columbia Basin.
Living Lakes Canada
Living Lakes Canada is an award-winning water stewardship NGO that facilitates collaboration in monitoring, restoration, and policy development initiatives for the long-term protection of Canada’s lakes, rivers, wetlands and watersheds impacted by climate risk.
- We build capacity through community-based water monitoring to help address climate impacts. We promote and facilitate cross-sector collaboration and research to increase water literacy, and support progressive decision-making for improved water stewardship.
- Our successful leadership and stewardship templates have supported the creation of many other grassroots water stewardship groups. Living Lakes Canada has received multiple water stewardship awards, and has been recognized by the federal government as a “best practices” example in community-based ecological monitoring in Canada.
- Living Lakes Canada is the recipient of two 2017 Water’s Next Awards (Water Steward of the Year and Non-Government Organization Winner) and was featured in the March/April 2019 issue of Water Canada magazine for work as one of Canada’s top water stewards.
Living Lakes Canada is a registered charity and affiliated with German-based Global Nature Fund’s Living Lakes International.
Columbia Basin Water Monitoring Framework
Climate change is the most critical issue impacting water management in the Columbia River Basin, an important transboundary freshwater resource for agriculture, fisheries, power generation, First Nations and urban users. Fresh water sources are dependent on glaciers and snowpacks, which are declining. Climate impacts are also resulting in extreme temperature and precipitation, flooding, fire events and peak glacial melt.
Existing water monitoring networks are insufficient to track and understand these impacts. Living Lakes Canada is implementing a coordinated water monitoring network in three pilot areas throughout the Canadian Columbia Basin, using an innovative methodology which can be replicated in other regions. This collaborative approach will improve and strengthen the monitoring configuration for tracking and understanding a broader range of implications of climate change on the water supply for Basin ecosystems and its people. The data collected will be housed in the Columbia Basin Water Hub.
Recognizing the importance of community input when selecting priority watersheds to monitor, Local Reference Groups are being created in each of the three pilot areas. Participants will identify key community concerns and priorities. Hydrologic modelling and data gap analysis is also being completed in the target hydrologic regions. This information will inform the creation of a Priority Monitoring Matrix that will reflect local priorities within a scientific water balance approach to ensure that monitoring addresses both community and scientific needs in a nested, cost-efficient manner.
The resulting data will be used to facilitate the creation of water budgets for eventual evidence-based water allocation required during water shortages.
CKAN is the world’s leading open-source data portal platform.
CKAN is a complete out-of-the-box software solution that makes data accessible and usable – by providing tools to streamline publishing, sharing, finding and using data (including storage of data and provision of robust data APIs). CKAN is aimed at data publishers (national and regional governments, companies and organizations) wanting to make their data open and available.
CKAN is used by governments and user groups worldwide and powers a variety of official and community data portals including portals for local, national and international government, such as British Columbia's Data Catalogue, the UK’s data.gov.uk and the European Union’s publicdata.eu, the Brazilian dados.gov.br, Dutch and Netherland government portals, as well as city and municipal sites in the US, UK, Argentina, Finland and elsewhere.
What is open data?
Open Data is defined as structured, machine readable, freely shared, and built on without any restrictions. According to Open Definition there are three main aspects of data that make it open:
- Data must be accessible and available for no or reasonable cost and must be available over the internet in a convenient, modifiable format.
- Data must be available for re-use and redistribution using the appropriate licencing.
- There must be universal participation, where everyone is able to use, re-use, and redistribute data.
The Water Hub aims to align with open data principles, including the FAIR Principles. We also strive to adhere to the CARE Principles for Indigenous Data Governance and the First Nations Principles of OCAP® when collaborating with Indigenous governments or Knowledge holders.
The Columbia Basin Water Hub and Living Lakes Canada would like to thank the following funders for their contributions to make this data repository possible: