© ACAP Saint John / WWF-Canada
BLOCKCHAIN TECHNOLOGY IN ACTION
Restoring trust and clarity in freshwater data
Through Atlantic Water Network, volunteers in dozens of communities across Atlantic Canada grab their hip waders and forge into local rivers to collect information on water quality.
Government scientists, university researchers and consultants are also collecting this information, at times creating duplicated efforts, and resulting in data gaps and incomparable data.
Blockchain technology helps keep the pool of data clear and transparent. Users can determine who created each dataset, how and why it was collected and whether it has been modified. If data owners don’t approve of how their information is being used or changed, blockchain allows them to revert it back to its original, unaltered version.
Users can access, visualize and download water-quality information collected by 35 monitoring groups from all four Atlantic provinces.
Blockchain builds trust by creating clarity about where the data is coming from and how it was collected. It allows scientists to compare information gathered by passionate citizen scientists against their own and verify its accuracy.
Best of all, blockchain works behind the scenes, so using platforms like Atlantic DataStream is simple and straightforward. As a result, initiatives like Atlantic DataStream, hosted by The Gordon Foundation, can break down data duplicates and create a big picture of freshwater health even across jurisdictional boundaries.
Towards clearer data
People, wildlife and ecosystems depend on the thousands of interconnected rivers and lakes across Canada. But we can’t make wise choices to protect our watersheds without a reliable picture of their health and current state. By boosting blockchain technology and taking advantage of its ability to provide data clarity, we hope to fill in this gap to help with future decisions.
Over 800 000 data points have been brought together from government, citizen science and Indigenous environmental groups.