Information Systems

As background, there is an explosive increase in demand for delivery of ecosystem goods and services and communication using real-time Internet information platforms. This demand is also driving the need for greater access and world connectivity, such as the ongoing evolution of ‘Big Data’ analytics and commercialization of related software tools and ‘smart’ technology products.
 
As an international (Canadian) award-winning enterprise, GREENLAND® understands there is significant opportunity in Canada to establish a leadership consulting engineering position to use niche (proprietary) ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) technologies. As new software systems and smart products are introduced into the market, GREENLAND® and business partners will keep pace through their own research & development, client training, and dissemination of knowledge on how these systems relate to core GREENLAND® business units.

GREENLAND® originally distributed watershed-related software by the Government of Canada. We also developed a popular hydrologic model (Visual OTTHYMO) still being used world-wide as a stormwater management and master drainage planning tool. The following are overviews of three (3) web-based tools (owned and maintained by GREENLAND®) and also used on a regular basis for the organization’s second-to-none integrated IT and consulting services. Also, details about the history and collaborations for each web platform are presented after this page.


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After fall-out from past Canadian drinking water tragedies, GREENLAND® focused its software development resources on source water protection needs. This included the development of an integrated water budget, nutrient and contaminant loading model. This open source GIS-based program included an intuitive and stable interface whereby users were able to quickly create models from scratch. We incorporated features such as customized output files, cross scenario plotting, importing routines and search tools. In late 2004, this initiative produced CANWETTM (v1.0), and still known also as the "CANadian Watershed Evaluation Tool". We further adapted the software code in 2005-06 for TMDL (Total Maximum Daily Load), assimilative capacity and watershed protection projects and as part of the Version 2.0 development program for the Province of Ontario. CANWETTM (Version 3.0) was completed in 2008. Versions 4.0 through 4.2 until 2012.


In 2013GREENLAND® and a team affiliated with the University of Waterloo, initiated an information and communication technology development joint venture (and still active today). The goal of this alliance is to utilize Canada-wide open government data resources; Big Data; web-based and mobile application tools; citizen crowd sourcing; social media marketing and other emerging technologies to engage and empower government market places to be more open, efficient and effective. In 2015, the first collaborative technology was completed – namely, the first “Big Data” version of CANWET™ and called ‘CANWET-5”. The platform was then used for P3 collaborative cumulative effects and river basin projects in Canada.
 
In 2018, the CANWET™ team was expanded to include the University of Guelph. Completed work to-date has included a ‘machine learning prototype’, as well as maintaining all capabilities and adding new / best-science predictive modelling functions too. Further announcements about new project applications will be made soon and as this partnership extends well beyond 2020.


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In 2016GREENLAND® formed a strategic alliance in Europe with private and public sector teams from Sweden and France and to initiate a new IoT Platform partnership. The initial goal was to develop a cloud-based flood forecasting, flood control and floodplain mapping system (called ISWMS™ - Version ‘2’) for watershed managers and regulatory agencies. The first collaboration was completed in 2019 and where the new web-based tool is being used now in Canada to identify real-time solutions that can minimize mixed rural & urban watershed flood damages and help prevent loss of life from flood disasters. This platform was developed for use anywhere else in the world. It includes an early warning flood forecasting system that requires powerful visualization connected to the latest (public domain) versions of HEC-HMS and HEC-RAS that are developed /maintained by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
 
Development of the ISWMS™ Platform relied on other proprietary GREENLAND® hydrology and stormwater management modelling tools. The GREENLAND® (Canada-Europe) team consulted also with property-casualty insurers in order to develop an open/transparent system framework that could also address climate impact concerns. Other Canada-based partners included the County of Simcoe (Ontario); University of Guelph; Communitech Corporation; First Nations; and, University of Waterloo Interdisciplinary Centre on Climate Change (IC3) and Partners for Action (P4A) network. Finally, the U.S. software engineering firm ‘Civil-GEO’ was consulted on the project too. In late 2019, the GREENLAND® team (and also with the University of Guelph) secured new leverage funding to continue the ISWMS™ IoT Platform development program. In the meantime, GREENLAND® continues to use ISWMS™ (v.2) as a “free licensed asset” for its consulting client contracts (private and public sectors), and for new collaborations supported by Canada’s National Flood Damage Reduction Program, as well as future Smart Cities & Climate Change Adaptation - Protection Programs.


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Cumulative effects assessment is now recognized by all levels of government in Canada and Indigenous People. This policy approach considers past, present and future development stresses together and seeks to maintain impacts below agreed upon thresholds determined from historical or reference watershed conditions. This assessment methodology can effectively identify climate change issues of concern too.
 
The THREATS™ technology (owned and maintained by GREENLAND®) is a second-to-none web-based platform that is helping Canada’s resource industries to improve cumulative effects assessment procedures for capital project planning and design operations. The tool enables better defining relationships between stressors and environmental responses through more efficient data management, modeling, analyses and visualization.


Capital infrastructure project planning processes by resource companies anywhere in the world use cumbersome manual methods of assessing cumulative environmental impacts posed by a project in concert with impacts from prior and future development over an appropriate scale. The latest version of THREATS™ can provide better understandings of stressor – environmental response relationships by assessing cumulative impacts against reference states and measured responses using appropriate indicators and evaluating trends in multiple datasets over time.

The tool can now help resource industries, land developers and government agencies develop approaches to quantify impacts and risks on a secured platform and to inform better decision making by staffs. Better decisions in the planning phase will also reduce costs and potential for conflict during project consultations, environmental assessments, approvals & implementation phases. For example, mining sites designed using THREATS™ (and to minimize cumulative watershed impacts) will reduce the cost of mitigation measures during operating phases, if failures should occur. Use of the tool will also allow mining companies to examine means of achieving greater efficiencies in the management and reporting of performance monitoring operations, while also reducing life cycle operations and asset management costs.
 
There are potentially millions of dollars of cost savings by automating and improving the way the resource companies can predict cumulative environmental impacts (air, terrestrial and water) and risks associated with any extraction activities. The benefits of the latest THREATS™ web-based decision support system include the following benefits from these perspectives:

  • THREATS™ will more effectively and efficiently predict cumulative environmental effects from current and proposed resource development operations and thereby enable staff to propose effective management plans to regulators and therefore secure timely / confident approvals for capital projects;
 
  • From a public relations perspective, THREATS™ will provide a better transparency means for facilitating relations with Indigenous People and other watershed stakeholders during industry construction activities and future operations; and,
 
  • Better prediction, automation and use of available resource library databases will help reduce capital costs and keep mining facility projects on budget and on schedule.


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Client Testimonials

Town of Innisfil

I would like to congratulate Greenland Consulting Engineers on winning the 2012 Consulting Engineers of Ontario Environment Award of Excellence. The award recognizes your work on the Nottawasaga Pines Secondary School construction project with the Simcoe Country District School Board. This is a well deserved honour and is a reflection of both the caliber of your work and your team.

I continue to be impressed with your company’s commitment and innovation in the field of sustainable development. You have set an excellent example for others throughout Simcoe County  and the Province of Ontario.

John Skorobohacz
Chief Administrative Officer
The Corporation of the Town of Innisfil

May 1, 2012
 

Town of Collingwood

On behalf of the Town of Collingwood, I would like to thank the Greenland Group of Companies for their design and execution of the Town’s vision for Heritage Park, coordination of all consultants, contract administration and construction inspection.

Greenland always strives for thoroughness, professionalism and addressing their clients needs on each of their projects – this was no exception.

Peter G. Dunbar
Director, Leisure Services
Town of Collingwood

August 30, 2010
 

Sustainable Buildings Canada

Sustainable Buildings Canada (SBC) has worked closely with Greenland Consulting Engineers (Greenland) as part of the Savings By Design program offered by Enbridge Gas Distribution. The program features an integrated design workshop that exposes builders and developers to the potential environmental and energy performance benefits that can be achieved through a holistic planning process. This includes identifying alternative approaches to site sustainability including low impact development and storm water management.

Inherent in the integrated design process is the need to access experienced and highly qualified individuals and organizations that can identify potential alternative solutions. SBC has a very capable roster of consultants that represent the core expertise required for this kind of expertise. Greenland is one of those organizations, providing critical input related to storm water management, low impact development and site sustainability.

Greenland consulting staff are all extremely knowledgeable and up to date on the various issues related to storm water management and low impact development and have always provided that expertise in a professional manner, recognizing the need to be sensitive to both the needs of the developers and the desire to improve environmental performance. It has been a great pleasure to work with Greenland and we look forward to doing so in the future.

Michael Singleton
Executive Director
Sustainable Buildings Canada

November 1, 2013
 

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