IBM announced last week that it has partnered up with a number of institutions to launch an innovative project to fight droughts in California. A joint project run by IBM, The Freshwater trust non-profit, SweetSense and the University of Colorado Boulder will combine the blockchain technology and the Internet of Things to manage supplies of groundwater in a sustainable manner. The project will take place at the river delta of Sacramento and San Joaquin in Northern California. This region is home to one of the biggest aquifers in the North American continent and occupies the territory of over 1,000 square miles.
Special sensors will keep track of extraction of water and send them to satellites, which record weather change and rainfall. The combined data will then be added to the blockchain hosted by IBM and governed by smart contracts. Consumers of water resources – e.g., farmers and regulatory bodies – can track the real-time use of groundwater online. Such an approach would allow to distribute water resources more evenly.
Sensors supplied by SweetSense are reportedly already in use in Ethiopia and Kenya, monitoring groundwater use by one million people.