July 2, 2007

WaterPortal will facilitate information-sharing to improve watershed management in Alberta

CALGARY, ALTA-The Alberta Society for Sustainable Water Management and Related Technologies (Alberta WaterSMART), the Bow River Basin Council (BRBC) and IBM have established a network of technology, industry, watershed management and funding partnerships to launch the Alberta WaterPortal (www.albertawater.com), an interactive, Web-based information sharing tool. The Suncor Energy Foundation is providing initial project funding, with Veolia Water Solutions and Technologies participating as a technology and content partner. Supported by public and private partnerships, the WaterPortal will enable free and open sharing of data, information, dialogue and knowledge on groundwater and surface water conditions, water management policies, best practices and conservation initiatives in Alberta and around the world. It will use various media formats and dialogue technologies, including video, photography, blogs and podcasts to shed light on important water issues, connect groups with individuals, and share insights and new opportunities. IBM, which recently contributed $3.1 million to the creation of an Oil Sands Centre of Excellence in Calgary, will provide project management and technology architecture expertise for the initial phase of the WaterPortal project. During this stage, the project will focus on the watershed planning needs of the BRBC, which is developing a multi-year plan to manage the watershed within the basin, and will be using the WaterPortal to solicit input and feedback from its members living in the region, as well as to share water information and best practices. More information is available from Kim Sturgess at Alberta WaterSMART, 403/813-6182, E-mail kim@albertawatersmart.com.

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