Groundwater Monitoring

SensorUp SensorThings API Platform for Groundwater Monitoring in Rocky View County

SensorUp provided the IoT platform and web portals for the public and volunteers, to support groundwater monitoring in Rocky View County.

Data Entry Portal for Volunteers

Private wells are monitored by the landowners through a citizen science program. Individuals measure the level in their water well using a device supplied by the University of Calgary. After measuring the level, citizens report the readings, and researchers assemble the data.

The data collected helps understand groundwater recharge rates, which are important to know for sustainable management of water use. Data has also supported academic publications in leading international hydrology journals.

Public Access to Data

Data is also shared publicly online (after appropriate aggregation to protect citizen privacy), so that all stakeholders can access the information.

It’s shared at 5-star open data levels, so that it can be instantly repurposed.

Because it can be reused, the data can provide additional benefit, beyond it’s original purpose.

SensorUp IoT Platform

SensorUp’s Cloud acts as the bridge allowing devices to interact with each other and with 3rd-party web applications. In this case, the devices are well-water level measurement tools operated by volunteers, and volunteers report the sensor readings.

SensorUp provided the cloud, server, connection services, and custom-developed web applications for volunteer data reporting and public access to data. SensorUp’s IoT Platform is the world’s first ISO/OGC standards-compliant and geospatial-enabled Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) for the IoT.

The system enabled researchers to focus on their core competency and spend more time on the science, by automating repetitive data entry tasks.

Reduced data management time by 30-40% by streamlining data collection

Provided public access to data in near real time, at 5-star open data levels

Made information instantly repurposable to new lines of inquiry

Automated and simplified the data entry process for both citizen scientists and university researchers

Minimized the opportunities to introduce human error into the data entry process

Provided additional data-entry fields for contextual information and quality control

Rocky View Well Watch Program

Rocky View Well Watch is a joint initiative between the University of Calgary and Rocky View County to monitor groundwater levels.

Rocky View County is a large, rural, agricultural and residential county in Southern Alberta. The region relies on water supply from the disappearing Bow Glacier and Bow headwaters, as well as groundwater. Groundwater in the area supports residents, farmers, and industry. The region is subject to droughts, and lies within the Palliser Drought Triangle. The most recent drought was in summer 2015. With so much relying on it, groundwater in the area is critical.

To understand, track, and manage this precious resource, Rocky View County and the University of Calgary partnered to manage groundwater reserves in the area. A monitoring program was put in place to track groundwater levels in private and public wells. Volunteers living in the county measure the water level in their wells. They report their measurements via SensorUp’s volunteer portal.

The project established a baseline water level, monitors fluctuations on an ongoing basis, and conducts research using the data to inform public policy.