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Image: A screen capture of the RiverWatch web app, created by the Civic Tech Fredericton community.

In New Brunswick, Open Data Keeps the River on Watch


New Brunswick, Canada
Population: 770,633

[This story is adapted from an article originally written by Aaron Wytze and published by Code for Canada on Medium on September 5, 2018]

In New-Brunswick, a group of civic tech leaders created an app to monitor and forecast river levels in their province.

Challenge

The province already gave access to river forecasting tools through its website but it was not mobile compatible. Code for Canada reported why, as an increasing number of people are using smartphones and apps instead of traditional desktops computers, the province’s officials wanted to develop a mobile app but lacked the resources to do so.

Solution

The Civic Tech community used the open data provided by the government about water levels in order to develop the app. The warnings about water levels are color-coded from green to red for users to better understand the risks of flooding.

Results

Code for Canada shared how, thanks to this app, thousands of people have already been warned about potential floods in their vicinity. With a user-friendly interface, RiverWatch allows residents to have access to a three-day forecast of river water levels in the province and they can easily find their city through a drop-down list or an interactive map.

According to Bernie Connors, a geomatics engineer who took part in developing RiverWatch: “There was great support from the government to get this done. This was a good way to highlight how open data can be used, and how it can benefit the community”.

 

> 100

People warned about floods

6 months

to develop the app

Involved in this project

Community Partners

Civic Tech Fredericton

Project Resources

Discussion

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