Challenge

The Freshwater Trust (TFT) works to protect water systems that can spread across hundreds of thousands of acres. Identifying parcels of land that can impact conservation at the scale of a watershed, basin, or estuary landscape can be challenging. Precision agricultural tools are aimed at a single landowner who wants to maximize efficient farming for a particular parcel. Large-scale watershed modeling tools use data across an entire region for high-level policy makers. Neither scale is the right solution for figuring out how to fix a basin that is in trouble.

Solutions

BasinScout Platform (BSP) combines TFT's conservation knowledge with Upstream Tech's satellite data and machine learning capabilities to develop an approach that includes both field-scale and watershed-scale data to make recommendations, while also letting land managers set criteria for priority outcomes. The BSP user can specify their program goals – whether the goal is reducing groundwater demand, improving irrigation, reducing nutrient runoff, or building vegetation buffers. The result is both a region-wide and field-specific plan that identifies specific actions, ranked in order of cost-efficiency for achieving conservation goals.

How BasinScout Platform uses Azure

Researcher looks through a device next to the river

Protecting and restoring freshwater ecosystems

Re-vegetation project on the bank of a river