Discussing water security at the GLOBE Forum in Vancouver

March 12, 2024

The recent GLOBE Forum in Vancouver brought together innovators and changemakers from across the country who are accelerating the clean economy. Any discussion about the social, economic, and environmental challenges of our time must include water, so DataStream’s Carolyn DuBois was delighted to be part of the Ensuring Water Security session. Notably, for the first time in the 30-year history of the Forum, there was a theme focused on water.

Keep Reading  Discussing water security at the GLOBE Forum in Vancouver

Pacific DataStream launches

March 11, 2024

Pacific DataStream is live! Launching at the Environmental Flows Conference in Kelowna, our latest regional hub already holds millions of water quality data points from across British Columbia and the Yukon, all open and available for anyone to explore and download.  

Keep Reading  Pacific DataStream launches

Groundwater data: Out of sight, out of mind?

March 21, 2022

Groundwater is a vitally important resource, one that is often overlooked in freshwater management. Despite its importance, in Canada we know relatively little about how groundwater behaves, its quality, or how the quality and quantity have changed over time. This is why groundwater quality is the next data type that DataStream is actively working on adding to our open data platform.

Keep Reading  Groundwater data: Out of sight, out of mind?

FortWhyte Alive - Sharing Insights from a Human-made Lake System

January 21, 2022

Situated on the past site of a cement factory and clay mining operation dating back to 1911, FortWhyte Alive is an urban nature centre located in Winnipeg, Manitoba, focused on environmental education. The relic mining pits have become five pit lakes which support healthy fish and waterfowl populations. School groups and the general public visit FortWhyte Alive to walk along the trail network, canoe on the lakes, birdwatch, and learn about the importance of healthy freshwater ecosystems.

Keep Reading  FortWhyte Alive - Sharing Insights from a Human-made Lake System

NEW FEATURE: Custom Download Tool

November 24, 2021

DataStream is excited to announce the beta version release of our new Custom Download tool! As the amount of data being shared on DataStream continues to grow, so too have requests for the ability to access specific subsets of data (e.g., all arsenic data in a given region) across multiple datasets. This tool is designed to do just that.

Keep Reading  NEW FEATURE: Custom Download Tool

DataStream teams up with RBC Tech for Nature

October 22, 2021

We are delighted to announce that we are partnering with RBC through Tech for Nature, to help drive the expansion of DataStream.  DataStream, an open access platform for sharing water data, currently operates in three regions--the Mackenzie basin, Atlantic Canada, and the Lake Winnipeg basin. The RBC Tech for Nature donation from the RBC Foundation is a multi-year commitment that will allow DataStream to expand across the country. Beginning in the Great Lakes, our proven model will grow to support a nationwide, innovation ecosystem. This is the latest stage in a long-term, highly productive partnership between DataStream and RBC. RBC Foundation has played an integral role in DataStream’s growth by contributing to the design and development of the blockchain technology that is integrated with the platform.  Blockchain technology enables DataStream to bring a new level of data security and transparency to water monitoring data in Canada. DataStream’s use of blockchain technology provides a way for people to verify that the data they are accessing on the platform is the same data that was originally uploaded and that it hasn’t been altered or tampered with. Blockchain diagram from here: RBC Tech for Nature supports new ideas, technologies, and partnerships to solve pressing environmental challenges. Learn more at

Keep Reading  DataStream teams up with RBC Tech for Nature

Using big data to answer big questions

October 21, 2021

As a water researcher at the University of Waterloo, Dr. Nandita Basu creates models to help answer big questions. How well do wetlands protect against algal blooms? Where are the biggest hotspots for agricultural runoff? How is climate change affecting water quality? DataStream promises to make life easier for Basu and her colleagues. In fall 2021, the release of the latest regional hub, Great Lakes DataStream, will bring together water quality datasets throughout the Great Lakes and Saint Lawrence Basin in a standardized format.

Keep Reading  Using big data to answer big questions

DataStream and Water Rangers team up to accelerate data sharing

August 20, 2021

An exciting collaboration that began in the Great Lakes will make it easier for Water Rangers testers anywhere to share data on DataStream.  Water Rangers equip communities throughout Canada with the tools to actively monitor and manage their waters. Now, through a new hub-to-hub connection, anyone in the Water Rangers network can increase the visibility and impact of their data by sharing it on DataStream as well. 

Keep Reading  DataStream and Water Rangers team up to accelerate data sharing

How is community collected water data getting used?

March 22, 2021

What happens to water data after it has been collected by community monitoring groups? That is the driving question behind a Nova Scotia-focused research project that brought together academic, community and government voices. Led by Alice Cohen out of Acadia University in collaboration with Coastal Action and the Atlantic Water Network, and supported by the Change Lab Action Research Initiative (, the research project included a workshop, interviews and online webinar, with a recent report summarizing the key findings.

Keep Reading  How is community collected water data getting used?

DataStream Launches New Interactive Guide to Water Quality

January 26, 2021

A new online tool helps explain how water quality is measured and why it matters. The illustrated guide provides an introduction to some of the most important and commonly monitored aspects of water quality, including: physical properties, such as water clarity, pH and temperature chemical substances, like nutrients, metals, minerals and pollutants from human activity, and; biological characteristics, including coliform bacteria and chlorophyll

Keep Reading  DataStream Launches New Interactive Guide to Water Quality

Community-based water monitoring roundtable documents now available in French

January 14, 2021

Recommendations that address how the federal government can strategically support community-based water monitoring (CBWM) efforts across Canada are now available in English and French. The Elevating Community-Based Water Monitoring in Canada documents were produced by The Gordon Foundation (who lead DataStream at the national level), Living Lakes Canada, and WWF-Canada, following a collaborative dialogue convened by the three organizations. 

Keep Reading  Community-based water monitoring roundtable documents now available in French

DataStream Data Informs Assessment of Freshwater Health

October 30, 2020

The recently released WWF Canada 2020 Watershed Reports provide a national assessment of Canada’s freshwater. WWF Canada was able to efficiently draw on community based water monitoring (CBWM) data thanks to DataStream. Although the report shows the health of 60% of watersheds is unknown, there has been significant progress since the last assessment in 2017, with ten additional watersheds receiving a score. DataStream is designed to support communities driving the data-to-policy cycle so it is exciting to see that DataStream is playing a role in improving data access and putting community generated data on the map, so that it can be used in regional and national scale assessments and ultimately support decision-making.

Keep Reading  DataStream Data Informs Assessment of Freshwater Health

National Water Quality Guidelines on DataStream

October 29, 2020

DataStream’s visualization tool enables users to apply national water quality guidelines to datasets. Some key guidelines used by DataStream include the Canadian Water Quality Guidelines for the Protection of Aquatic Life  which serve as national standards set by the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME). These guidelines provide recommended ranges for some of the physical, chemical and biological characteristics that are commonly monitored in rivers, lakes, and oceans.

Keep Reading  National Water Quality Guidelines on DataStream

Be the Water Bottle: Demonstrating Good Data Management

September 16, 2020

“Be the water bottle”. That’s the message from DataStream Data Specialist Patrick LeClair in this practical demonstration of what good data management looks like, taken from the recent Data Management Best Practices webinar.  Wondering what he could possibly mean?  Patrick uses two vastly different water samples, a cloudy concoction and a transparent liquid, to depict data while their containers - a hard to access box and an easily opened water bottle respectively - represent databases.

Keep Reading  Be the Water Bottle: Demonstrating Good Data Management

FAIR and CARE Data Principles

August 24, 2020

Technology has helped facilitate the growth of data sharing and the rise of open data – a movement that DataStream is proud to be part of. In this post we take a look at two important and complementary sets of guiding principles that underpin best practices when it comes to data stewardship and access.

Keep Reading  FAIR and CARE Data Principles

DataStream en Français

July 29, 2020

We are pleased to announce that DataStream now offers a bilingual site for sharing and accessing water quality data in Canada.   All website content is now available in French, across the Mackenzie DataStream, Atlantic DataStream, and Lake Winnipeg DataStream hubs.  

Keep Reading  DataStream en Français

CBM In Action: Lake Winnipeg Community-Based Monitoring Network

October 15, 2019

The Lake Winnipeg Community-Based Monitoring Network (LWCBMN) was launched in fall 2015. Supported by the Lake Winnipeg Foundation ’s Science Advisory Council, this growing network engages citizen volunteers to collect water samples across Manitoba using scientifically vetted protocols. Samples are then analyzed in a lab to measure phosphorus concentration and calculate the amount of phosphorus being exported off the landscape.

Keep Reading  CBM In Action: Lake Winnipeg Community-Based Monitoring Network

CBM In Action: East Interlake Conservation District

July 31, 2019

Water monitoring groups of all shapes and sizes are taking action to protect rivers, lakes and wetlands. These are the amazing people and initiatives that inspire us to do the work we do here at DataStream. In this video Armand Belanger of East Interlake Conservation District talks about the work his organization is doing to protect water quality in the Lake Winnipeg region.

Keep Reading  CBM In Action: East Interlake Conservation District

Water Quality Challenges in Lake Winnipeg

July 22, 2019

Lake Winnipeg is sometime called the Great Lake of the West – and with good reason. The 10th largest freshwater lake in the world, this vast inland sea defines Manitoba’s geography, drives its economy, shapes its cultures and supports its biodiversity. But Lake Winnipeg is also in trouble. Algae blooms have been increasing in size and frequency over the past several decades – contaminating beaches, reducing water quality and threatening the viability of lakeshore industries and communities.

Keep Reading  Water Quality Challenges in Lake Winnipeg

DataStream Wins Water's Next Award

June 22, 2018

On June 20, DataStream won the 2018 Water’s Next award for Project & Technology at the Canadian Water Summit in Vancouver. DataStream is an open-access, online platform for sharing information about freshwater health in the Mackenzie Basin.  The Water’s Next Awards celebrate achievements in the water community from storm water management to innovation in drinking water solutions, web technologies, local stewardship and more. DataStream promotes public participation and trust in water stewardship decisions.

Keep Reading  DataStream Wins Water's Next Award

The results are in! National CBM Survey Highlights

March 15, 2018

Through a diversity of monitoring, stewardship and guardian programs, communities across Canada are playing an increasingly important role in gathering critical information about the health of their watersheds. As interest in community-based water monitoring (CBWM) grows, investments to organize and implement community-driven initiatives are being made. However, to realize the full potential of these efforts, there is a need for strategic thinking, collaboration, and coordination, including at the national level.

Keep Reading  The results are in! National CBM Survey Highlights

NEW FEATURE: Search for Monitoring Data by Sub-Basin

March 2, 2018

One of the exciting things about DataStream is watching it grow and evolve over time. Not only are more datasets coming online, but we are continually making it better thanks to the thoughtful feedback we get from DataStream users. Now, by popular demand, you can filter your search for monitoring data within the sub-basins of the larger Mackenzie River Basin. This is so important because it allows communities to view and compare data across shared waterways.

Keep Reading  NEW FEATURE: Search for Monitoring Data by Sub-Basin