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

Communitech

The Greenland Group (Greenland) was introduced to Communitech in 2013. This letter is to acknowledge the importance of this proactive joint venture and to indicate our strong interest in future project partnerships with Greenland and other network members.

Greenland is now supporting other joint initiatives with Communitech. These leading-edge information technology partners will include other private sector members with the Communitech network, as well as Ontario government agencies and First Nation communities. These projects are intended to develop commercialized products and services involving the Greenland Group and other Communitech partners and to enable new Canada-wide related collaborations.

Mark, if any your prospective clients or contacts have questions regarding our collaborative efforts to date, ongoing discussions and project leveraging capabilities, the Communitech team would be more than happy to help.

We look forward to our continued strong collaboration with Greenland.

Iain Klugman
CEO
Communitech

February 19, 2015
 

Walton Development and Management

The Walton Group of Companies is a multinational real estate investment and development firm concentrating on the research, acquisition, administration, planning and development of strategically located land in major North American growth corridors. With nearly 90,000 acres of land under administration including 22 development projects, Walton is one of North America’s premier land asset managers.

Walton Development and Management L.P. (“Walton”) has retained Greenland International Consulting Ltd. (“Greenland”) to assist with our municipal infrastructure planning and engineering design for several new communities in the County of Simcoe, Ontario including environmental assessments and water resource analysis. Greenland is highly regarded in the industry for their professional approach to the environmental aspects of these projects and state-of-the-art decision support tools (such as CANWETTM) to address climate change adaptation, cumulative watershed impact, and adaptive management such as post-construction performance monitoring. Greenland’s business model is unique and has provided Walton with value-added deliverables through the use of best available science and solution-based methodology. This includes forming a landmark public/private sector phosphorous reduction program to protect a sensitive fishery habitat system within headwaters of the Nottawasaga River Basin for one of Walton’s projects in Simcoe County. Greenland’s CANWETTM model and other in-house stormwater management and climate change impact assessment tools were instrumental for Walton to establish long-term partnerships in this community, including the local municipality, Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority and other key stakeholders.

Paolo Sacilotto
General Manager, Simcoe
Walton Development and Management L.P

February 13, 2015
 

University of Guelph

The reappearance of excessive nutrient loading in Lake Erie and the subsequent algae blooms is an extremely complex issue and is quite different in nature than the previous phosphorous loadings in the 1970s. Unlike the issue in the 1970s, there are far more sources adding nutrients to the late and these sources are diverse in nature ranging from rural to urban. In order to understand the nutrient loading, both in the temporal and spatial domains, more complex analytic and predictive tools are required in order to help policy make sound, science based, and defendable solutions.

The University of Guelph is uniquely positioned to help address the issues around Lake Erie with long standing core strengths in both the agricultural sector and the environmental field. In conjunction with our partner, Greenland Consulting Engineers, and their watershed evaluation tool (CANWETTM), we believe that we have the engineering and technology to extrapolate CANWETTM from the watershed level up to the lake basin level and provide decision-making support for the entire Lake Erie basin.

Hussein Abdullah, Ph.D., P. Eng.
Director, School of Engineering
University of Guelph

January, 26 2015
 

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