Internet of Water

The Aspen Institute Energy and Environment Program in partnership with the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions are working together to convene a series of roundtable discussions on the newly released report Internet of Water: Sharing and Integrating Water Data for Sustainability.

Internet of Water (IOW) is the culminating report of the Aspen Institute Dialogue Series on Sharing and Integrating Water Data for Sustainability and is the Dialogue Series’ vision for a national policy framework that addresses institutional barriers to scaling the integration of water data and information to support sustainable water management. From May 2016 to February 2017, the Aspen Institute in partnership with the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions at Duke University and Redstone Strategy Group convened this Dialogue Series with a select group of ~27 water experts, managers, academia and other representatives from the private and social sectors to assess the steps necessary to improve our water data infrastructure. To address this challenge, participants of the Dialogue aimed to formulate a national water data and information policy framework for sharing, integrating, and disseminating public data to support the sustainable management of water.

The report highlights and provides a principle-based blueprint recommending a 3-step plan for how to design and launch a feasible and operable “Internet of Water” – a network of interconnected data producers, hubs, and users – by doing the following:

  1. Enable open water– An Internet of Water is dependent on there being open water data and increased discoverability of water data.
  2. Integrate existing public water data and develop tools to facilitated connecting data producers and users.
  3. Connect regional data sharing communities that can address near-term water management problems for key sectors.

To continue to raise the profile of public data as an essential resource for sustainable water management and help foster a community of practice, the Aspen Institute is convening a series of regional and sector-specific roundtables, including in San Francisco and the Great Lakes Basin. The roundtable convenings will serve as an opportunity to get and incorporate feedback into the development of the governance structure for the IOW.

Each roundtable discussion will explore the report’s findings and recommendations. Participants will also discuss how the IOW can best be framed to help engage and serve their communities, and will begin work to identify potential anchor tenants, enhance anchor hubs, and determine how best to connect with a national backbone organization.

To learn more about Internet of Water and read the report’s findings and its action-oriented recommendations, please visit: Internet of Water. To learn more about the Nicholas Institute’s continuing mission, visit their page here.