The Vermont Smart Water Initiative

The Problem

Image by Tim Newcomb
  • Poor water quality leads to less tourism dollars coming into the state

  • Vermont would lose $16.8 million in economic activity and 200 full time jobs – in July and August alone – for every one-meter decrease in water clarity.

  • A one-meter drop in water clarity also would lead to a 37% depreciation for seasonal homes, and a three percent loss for year-round single family homes.

  • Lake Champlain is becoming salty – chloride in Lake Champlain was measured in 2017 to be 11.528 milligrams per liter, whereas the vast majority of lakes in Vermont and northern New York came in at under 1 milligram per liter. This is resulting from winter snow removal practices. 

  • Cyanobacteria outbreaks lead to beach closures because swimming in the water during a harmful algae bloom can lead to exposure to hepatotoxins, neurodegeneration, neurotoxins, general cytotoxin (multiple organ systems affected), dermal toxins, and gastro-intestinal toxins.

Accelerating the Solution

The Vermont Smart Water Initiative vision is to demonstrate and communicate how emerging Internet-of-Things technologies can help entities better manage clean water resources by enabling cost-effective smart city and precision agricultural implementation.

This vision will be implemented through both theory and application so we can best learn as a community.  Distinguished speakers will be invited to Burlington to speak as part of a Smart City Industry Panel focused on protecting water resources for theory.  The application is a group of tech events call ‘App Nights’ organized by passionate IoT Conduit professional partners with financial backing from IoT Conduit Members and interested community stakeholder sponsors.  

2020 Industry Panel => Smart Cities – How Not to Reinvent the Wheel 

The Smart City Industry Panel will be made up of 4 of the top water scientists and technologist, moderated by water expert AJ Rossman and titled ‘Smart Cities – How Not to Reinvent the Wheel’.  This panel of doers will detail successes, teach by evaluating failures, and will address the following questions:

  • How does a smart city affect you?  
  • What is out there and what have we learned?  
  • How does information get validated and shared?
IoT Conduit App Night
The IoT Conduit leads local coders and other technologists interested in the Internet-of-Things in bringing to life a variety of projects aimed at improving water quality in Lake Champlain.
Burlington Water Data DashboardAugust 17, 2019 using existing data on cyanobacteria and e. Coli, we started  work on a web app that is more user friendly than the current website used by the City of Burlington. When it is finished, we hope to have an app that users can use to make a decision on how safe it is to swim at beaches in Burlington. 
 Build-a-Smart Buoy’ October 12, 2019:  IoT Make IT series dry run.  We worked with citizen scientist trainers from UVM to rehabilitate a scientific buoy and hope to have it out in the lake after the spring thaw in 2020. 
Drop in Hours for 2020 on Thursdays
In 2020 we will have drop in hours from 6-8 on Thursday evenings to work on these projects and update past projects. 

Interested in Coding for the Good of the Lake?