Soaking up the data

One of the most diverse projects that Cyera is managing is the Water and Environmental Hub (WEHUB), whose goal (in the words of its creators) is to be 'the go-to source' on the internet for any water-related information. While discussions continue between organizers and stakeholders into the final look of the WEHUB (including its domain name), the project has begun to make its first public outings.

This past weekend, the WEHUB was on display at the Canadian Water Resources Association '€” Alberta branch conference in Red Deer. Representatives from government and industry were given a glimpse of the overarching goals of the project, and ways to get involved. This successful showing will be repeated in June at the Association's national conference in Newfoundland.

Although the project will not officially launch until July, organizers have also begun to campaign on the need for open water data resources.

Letthedataflow.ca is the virtual home and 'call to action' for the WEHUB's campaign, which aims to inspire the water community (be it industry, government, academia or the general public) to share any water-related links or data. This past World Water Day (March 22, 2011), the site launched its water data catalogue and, so far, we've uploaded links to provincial and federal government resources, the Lake Winnipeg Research Consortium, the Centre for Sustainable Watersheds and the Drought Research Initiative. We invite anyone who knows of other websites housing water data to submit them to the catalogue. This is the best way to truly get the data flowing!

The project will also be launching an Apps4Water campaign sometime this summer, which will encourage developers to take the water data amassed through the portal and turn it into  useful applications. This could take the form of a display of real-time water phosphorous levels for the oil and gas industry, or updates on when is the best time for residents to water their lawns. There is a veritable ocean of possibilities!

These actions are just the beginning '€” the WEHUB has big plans to make its name known through traditional media, social websites, hackathons and even a potential Facebook contest.

Check out the Letthedataflow.ca website and see what else you can learn about water data, and how you can get involved.