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IBM Fights California Drought with Blockchain

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In order to tackle the recent drought in some parts of the state of California, IBM has decided to start a collaborative project utilizing the Internet of Things (IoT) and blockchain, stated an official press release.

The project will focus on sustainable management of one of the largest and most at risk aquifers in North America by using IoT and blockchain technology. Reportedly, the University of Colorado Boulder and non-profit The Freshwater Trust (TFT) have joined hands with SweetSense (IBM’s Research and sensor tech provider).

The aquifer, located in Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, covers an area of approximately 1,100 square miles. Therefore, it provides a good practice ground for testing the proposed sustainability project.

IoT sensors will be used to transmit water extraction data to orbiting satellites, claims the press release. These satellites will be used to detect weather and rainfall correlations. Later, IBM Blockchain Platform with cloud-hosting and smart contract-compatibility will be used to record this data. Thus, regulators, farmers and financers will be able to monitor the underground water levels in real time by using a web-based dashboard.

Successful implementation of this real-time water tracking system will enable stakeholders to manage their underground water shares more effectively. In the future, they may trade water as well.

Apart from the technical initiative, the Northern Delta Groundwater Sustainability Agency has also been established by TFT. This agency aims at integrating various smaller agencies under one banner to work for sustainable underground water management.

Although the said project may be the first of its kind in the US, SweetSense is already working on its sensor technology to track groundwater supplies in Kenya and Ethiopia.


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