As part of our efforts to create incentives for recipients of the Blue Lakes eco-label, we are continuing work to build the Blue Lakes database – a comprehensive and accessible resource for water quality, fish populations and development data within The Land Between. While much of the data it comprises is openly available online from government sources, the datasets are in various locations (not combined), and development data is specially modeled from remote imagery. All together the Blue Lakes database allows lake stewards to consume lake health data in one place! Although its final iteration will be a smaller, more curated dataset focused on specific lakes of interest, to date we have amassed a total of 270,000 unique water quality datapoints on 2,650 different lakes going back as early as 1964. Parameters of interest include levels of development, fish stats, dissolved oxygen, temperature profiles, Secchi depth, calcium, total phosphorus, chloride, and a multitude of other chemical and physical metrics for water quality. Much of this data has been sourced from organizations such as the Lake Partner Program, the Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry, and the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation, and Parks. With a background in Environmental Science, GIS, and computer programming, my role with The Land Between is to continue developing the back end of the database by collecting and formatting additional water quality data. This work will also soon be integrated with an in-development website and mobile application designed to be a visual counterpart of the Blue Lakes database and to accept future water quality reports. If you would like to contribute any data you might be aware of for lakes within The Land Between or have ideas about features you would like to see become part of the Blue Lakes database don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at email@example.com.
Written by Jake Knowles, GIS Programmer and Data Analyst