Transformative sensor Technologies and Smart Watersheds (TTSW)

PI: Claude Duguay, University Research Chair, University of Waterloo

Project Manager: Marie Hoekstra

The Problem: Canada’s water resources are vast and span an enormous range in geography, climate and ecosystems. As such, decision makers facing water management challenges across Canada must rely on an unprecedented amount of data, and are dependent on highly diverse data streams and data analysis methods.

The Plan: To develop a new era of Big Data for water, using terrestrial sensor networks, new sub-orbital aircraft and drone instrument platforms, and near- and far-orbit satellites, linked to rapid information dissemination tools for users and the public.  While new drone technology will provide unprecedented spatial data, the project will also deploy and commercialize systems for acoustic sounding of snow, develop and deploy ultrasonic sensors for multiple environmental measurements (snow depth, stream level, stream velocity, air temperature, humidity, blowing snow), and develop and deploy a portable waveguide spectrometer for the identification of water pollutants, to provide accurate and real-time data for Canada’s water environment.  

The Outcome: This project focuses on the development, testing and pilot implementation of a “Big Data” platform that will be pan-Canadian in scale and targeted to support the emerging spectrum of water futures issues throughout cold regions.