IBM To Employ Blockchain and IoT To Fight Against California Drought
IBM Research and SweetSense, the sensor tech provider announces a partnership to collaborate for a cause, the companies will employ blockchain and the Internet of Things (IoT) in order to manage the ongoing drought currently affecting California.
The Freshwater Trust (TFT), a non-profit organization and the University of Colorado Boulder will join IBM Research and SweetSense in their efforts. The idea is to employ blockchain and IoT technology to manage groundwater sustainably, known as one of the largest and most at risk aquifers in North America, which is located in northern California’s Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta.
For the unknown, an aquifer is an underground layer of water-bearing rocks that is the source of groundwater. Stretching over 1,100 square miles, the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta has been said to be the nexus of California’s statewide water system and will become the testing ground for this new sustainability project.
As per the press release, the IoT sensors will be employed to transmit water extraction data to orbiting satellites, which are simultaneously used to detect rainfall and weather correlations. The IBM Blockchain Platform will record the data into the could-hosted and smart contract-compatible.
The recorded data could be used by Farmers, Financiers, and Regulators by using a web-based dashboard to interface with the blockchain and monitor the groundwater all in real time. With the aid of precise tracking, the system will be capable of issuing a so-called “groundwater shares”, that will then be purchased and traded by players in the region.
So, the ones not in need of all their assigned water supply, they can exchange it as credits for those who are in need of it. The press release further points out that TFT will help them establish the Northern Delta Groundwater Sustainability agency, which integrates multiple smaller agencies under a single unit to work together on sustainable groundwater usage.
The agency is one of a series of such entities statewide, which were mandated to handle the environmental issues after California signed its Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGM) into law during 2014. In addition to the US, SweetSense has also implemented their sensor technology to monitor groundwater supplies for over a million people in Kenya and Ethiopia, with plans to further expand their number to 5 million nearing the end of 2019.
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