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Water Resources: AQUARIUS

Aging environmental data management systems have struggled to keep up with modern-day realities: massive volumes of data, increasingly stringent guidelines, and demands for information to be fast and accurate.

The AQUARIUS software platform by Aquatic Informatics has positioned itself as the solution to the problem, helping municipalities and agencies make sense of the overwhelming amounts of information, and streamlining the process along the way.

“The integrated, transparent, and equitable use of water starts with information,” said Ed Quilty, the founder and CEO of Aquatic Informatics. “AQUARIUS captures data streaming off sensors in rivers, lakes, reservoirs, groundwater, and in-pipes, and alerts customers on exceedances or unusual events.”

With the AQUARIUS software, users have access to big data right at their fingertips. The software centrally stores, secures, and provides access control to data. Customers then use highly specialized tools to assess the validity and quality of the data in order to complete analytics, generate reports, and share with stakeholders. The data is then used in a multitude of ways—from assessing water quality and treatment effectiveness to determining pollution concentrations and the likelihood of flooding or droughts.

“Today’s authorities rely on AQUARIUS for insight to optimize the social, environmental, and economic benefits derived from limited water resources,” Quilty said. “Accurate data production, advanced record computations, and sophisticated analysis are required to inform decision makers. AQUARIUS creates the insight required to make the right water management decisions.”

The software is used by agencies like the Water Survey of Canada, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), and more than 500 other organizations in 50 countries. Quilty credits the software’s success to its rapid and continual technological evolution, its top-down strategic approach—it targets large, influential water agencies like the USGS first—and its focus on customer success.

Loyal customers are not only provided with reliable and accurate data, but the software quickly and efficiently cuts back on the manpower and time needed to handle the information. “The time savings in records reduction has been well worth the investment,” said Loren Smith, the superintendent of Water Division III at the Wyoming State Engineer’s Office. “We have realized about a 50 per cent time savings across the board, freeing up valuable limited staff time for other important work.”

As part of its mandate to rapidly evolve with the market, the Aquatics Informatics team has just released its fourth generation of AQUARIUS software, which Quilty said is “designed to scale to meet approaching limitless amounts of data.” The software’s entire solution suite is also available in the cloud, and the company continues to release new solutions, like AQUARIUS Forecast, which provides advanced environmental modelling.

In the future, the company hopes to “go beyond water” to tackle other environmental concerns. Quilty said the company sees limitless potential for their software solutions. “Our ‘Big Hairy Audacious Goal’ is to host and manage all of the planet’s environmental data for the sustainable use of natural resources,” he said.

- Rachel Phan

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