About: “Water is the essence of life and vital to the well-being of every person, economy, and ecosystem on the planet. But around the globe and here in the United States, water challenges are mounting as climate change, population growth, and other drivers of water stress increase. Many of these challenges are regional in scope and larger than any one organization (or even states), such as the depletion of multi-state aquifers, basin-scale flooding, or the wide-spread accumulation of nutrients leading to dead zones. Much of the infrastructure built to address these problems decades ago, including our data infrastructure, are struggling to meet these challenges. Much of our water data exists in paper formats unique to the organization collecting the data. Often, these organizations existed long before the personal computer was created (1975) or the internet became mainstream (mid 1990’s). As organizations adopted data infrastructure in the late 1990’s, it was with the mindset of “normal infrastructure” at the time. It was built to last for decades, rather than adapt with rapid technological changes.
New water data infrastructure with new technologies that enable data to flow seamlessly between users and generate information for real-time management are needed to meet our growing water challenges. Decision-makers need accurate, timely data to understand current conditions, identify sustainability problems, illuminate possible solutions, track progress, and adapt along the way. Stakeholders need easy-to-understand metrics of water conditions so they can make sure managers and policymakers protect the environment and the public’s water supplies. The water community needs to continually improve how they manage this complex resource by using data and communicating information to support decision-making. In short, a sustained effort is required to accelerate the development of open data and information systems to support sustainable water resources management. The Internet of Water (IoW) is designed to be just such an effort….(More)”.