Using Technology to Solve Today’s Water Challenges

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October 2018

The flow of data on freshwater health is becoming difficult to manage. Many organizations around the world, however, have developed innovative ways of harnessing and processing that data to better understand ecosystems, engage citizen scientists and make better decisions.

Water science and management involve vast amounts of data and information that bring with them challenges related to volume, variety, velocity and veracity. With the growing complexity of water system problems, there is a need to deploy technology and other available means to improve the understanding, research and management of this precious and limited resource. Current science has brought the ability to better understand and seek solutions for large global issues, but we continue to be limited by our ability to access, use and organize the large amounts of data produced by new technologies. Due to accelerating climate change, the increasing frequency of natural disasters and declining freshwater resources, there is increasing urgency to solve these problems. It is with these large datasets and collaboration with organizations and information that solutions may be found.

This report summarizes eight case studies highlighting instances where financial technologies are being used to improve understanding of ecological interactions with humans to better inform decision making and plan for sustainable development and resilience. The case studies were selected to discuss the wide range of technologies and the various roles they play in data systems for advanced analytics, as well as the various groups applying them. The case studies focus on the need for implementation, specific technologies used, and the range of stakeholders and user groups, such as academics, governments, communities, commercial industries, and cities. This report provides information on how each of the showcased groups integrated financial technologies (fintech) into their project design to improve data analytics and efficiencies for science, cities and industries.