The report titled, ‘Using Technology to Solve Today’s Water Challenges,’ illustrates various uses of the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and big data in activities that rely on environmental knowledge, including farming, early warning systems, and management of aquatic health.
The projects give examples of progress into “a data-driven world,” showing the possibility of using massive amounts of data to inform everyday activities as data services and the associated equipment become less expensive. For example, the EU’s Copernicus Project links up many satellites currently orbiting the Earth, to create very large datasets that are being used to inform diverse activities, including aquaculture and irrigation management.
In some projects, citizen science is contributing towards the monitoring of environmental health in projects in Canada and Finland, where data platforms have been created for volunteers and local organizations to upload their recorded observations. The authors suggest that the issue of trust in citizen science data can be addressed through the use of “fintech” such as blockchain, a way of recording transactions.
The authors conclude that environmental management and decision making can be improved at various scales, from Earth system observation to management of local water bodies.