The Freshwater Trust and Upstream Tech developed BasinScout® Platform to help identify the best places to improve groundwater and surface water quantity and quality.Learn about BasinScout Platform
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.
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.
Conservationists and landowners working together
Creating change at the scale of a water system requires the cooperation of the many individual land managers who use water, raise animals, and harvest crops within a region. The Freshwater Trust engages with private owners who rely on clean water and a reliable water supply to sustain their land.
How BasinScout Platform works
Agricultural data and satellite imagery are used to train an Upstream Tech machine learning model that optimizes water use, nutrient runoff, or other objectives, accounting for cost-effectiveness and environmental impact. The resulting road map enables efficient watershed protection.