A nonprofit organization, The Freshwater Trust (TFT) has partnered up with IBM Research and with SweetSense Inc., to combat drought in the area of San Joaquin River Delta in Sacramento, California.

IBM Partnership Leveraging Blockchain and IoT

According to an official press release published on February 8th, IBM has been involved in a partnership with The Freshwater Trust, as well as with SweetSense Inc., a provider of sensors connected through satellites.

The project aims to pilot technologies in order to properly monitor the usage of groundwater in the area of San Joaquin’s River Delta in Sacramento, California – one of the most risk aquifers in entire North America. The initiative is funded by the Water Foundation and by the Gordon Betty Moore Foundation.

It’s intended to use blockchain technology, as well as remote Internet of Things (IoT) sensors to provide real-time data about groundwater usage.

Per the release, the sensors are going to transmit water extraction data to orbiting satellites. These will then pass it on the IBM Blockchain platform which is hosted on the IBM Cloud. The platform will record all of the information on its immutable ledger.

The platform also has the capabilities to run smart contracts which will enable transactions to be executed automatically as soon as certain conditions are met.

The User Side

On the user side, water consumers, which include farmers, regulators, and financers, will be able to monitor and to track the usage of groundwater. This will happen through a web-based dashboard.

This will supposedly allow for estimating sustainable pumping levels.

Additionally, individual users who want to use more groundwater than their share cap will have the chance to “purchase” these shares from users who don’t require their usage. The rate will be regulated by the market itself.

Commenting on the matter, Alex Johnson, Director at TFT said:

Our strategic intent is to harness new technologies to develop a system that makes getting groundwater more sustainable, collaborative, accurate and transparent process, which is why we are using the blockchain. We now have the project team and funding to do it, and a strong network of partners in the region that are open to an initial testing and building phase.

The initiative furthers IBM’s venture into the field of blockchain and IoT-based technologies. In fact, earlier in 2018 estimates had it that the company is spending as much as $160 million on blockchain-based projects.

Do you think blockchain can help achieve sustainable use of groundwater in high-risk areas? Share your thoughts down below!

Cover photo by Wikimedia.Commons