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.  

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Celebrating the Launch of Great Lakes DataStream - from Niagara Falls to Quebec City!

November 23, 2022

This fall, we made up for lost time and celebrated the launch of Great Lakes DataStream with two in-person events. Great Lakes DataStream is the fourth hub of DataStream, an open access platform for sharing freshwater data across Canada. Since its release in 2021, Great Lakes DataStream has garnered over eight million data points collected by 49 monitoring groups, from Lake Superior to the Gulf of the St. Lawrence. We are thrilled to have been able to finally celebrate the official launch of Great Lakes DataStream! 

Keep Reading  Celebrating the Launch of Great Lakes DataStream - from Niagara Falls to Quebec City!

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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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Smart Great Lakes Initiative wants your feedback

July 28, 2021

Smart technologies have huge potential to improve our understanding, use, conservation, and management of the Great Lakes. That's the thinking behind the Smart Great Lakes Initiative (SGLi), which wants your input on the recently launched Common Strategy for Smart Great Lakes. The public are invited to read the Common Strategy and give feedback to by September 24.

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Great Lakes Data Drive

April 21, 2021

Great Lakes Data Drive Are you collecting water quality data in the Great Lakes and Saint Lawrence region and looking to expand the audience for your data? As we gear up for the release of Great Lakes DataStream this fall, we’re kicking off a Data Drive to help water monitoring groups and researchers publish their data on this open-access platform. The Data Drive is taking place through the spring and summer, and there are a number of ways for water monitors to get involved.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

Groupe d’éducation et d’écosurveillance de l’eau (G3E)

April 15, 2019

Since 1989, G3E has worked towards the protection of aquatic ecosystems. They have developed citizen science initiatives as well as educational and scientific tools useful for aquatic ecological monitoring. G3E invites communities to use them to keep an eye on the health of their home waters and to make informed decisions about conservation, restoration or awareness activities.

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