The Healthy River Ecosystem AssessmenT System (THREATS™)

In late 2017, GREENLAND® completed the ‘Second Evolution’ of The Healthy River Ecosystem AssessmenT System” which is also referred to as THREATS™.

The development of the tool’s first Internet open data and open source GIS platform began less than a year before. The work was also inspired from legacy research funded by the Canadian Water Network. Thereafter, GREENLAND® secured sole source code and development rights. GREENLAND® thanks Canada’s National Research Council for its support at that time for developing this first web-based version of THREATS™.
 
The available platform includes a cumulative effects assessment and adaptive management focus and which has since been used to develop related policies. THREATS™ serves now as a cost-effective tool for watershed planning, land use planning and research at universities.

THREATS™ can be customized to include client proprietary databases and address specific stakeholder / geographic needs of Indigenous communities, government agencies and resource industries. Further development phases were initiated in 2019 for other Canadian regions and export (global markets), as well as linking defendable western-science research with Indigenous knowledge to address cumulative basin impacts and climate change concerns.


In January 2020, GREENLAND® completed the “Internet Big Data’ version of THREATS™ (for use in Western Canada) and in partnership with the University of Alberta. Over the next few years, additional upgrades will also be completed with (and for use by) the university team and the Alberta Government.  

As background (since 2012), the Government of Alberta (represented by Alberta Environment and Parks) and the Government of Canada (epresented by Environment and Climate Change Canada) have worked as partners to implement an environmental monitoring program for the Oil Sands Region integrates air, water, land and biodiversity. The program strives to improve characterization of the state of the environment and enhance understanding of the cumulative effects of oil sands development activities in the region. In 2019, the Oil Sands Monitoring (OSM) program began in collaboration with the University of Alberta. This inlcudes a real-time  assessment of current state, new and emerging priorities, as well as commitment to evaluating progress to date and integration across program areas. The mandate of the OSM Program is to assess change relative to a baseline condition for environmental indicators and to understand if impacts are occurring in the Oil Sands Region of Alberta due to oil sands extraction activities. 

While measurement of OSM change of individual key indicators is required, doing so using a methodology that allows for assessment across indicators is also fundamental to understanding cumulative effects. Therefore, the ‘Internet Big Data’ version of THREATS™ is being developed further to address OSM Program objectives for integrated analytics and reporting to determine, based on both the work produced under the OSM program to date and other available datasets,  where changes in environmental indicators may be occurring in the Oil Sands Region. The specific short term goal of the OSM Program (and using THREATS™) is to identify these changes (if any). The secondary goal is to identify any gaps in the ability to assess change across environmental theme areas – namely, to start using THREATS™; 1) Water Quantity in the Athabasca River Basin; 2) Pipeline Spills, and, 3) Air Quality in the Wood Buffalo Region.




Demonstration videos (with audio) and sample applications in Ontario and Alberta can be seen above. The video introduces just a few (of MANY possible) applications that can access real-time and open data, as well as an extensive library of climate and watershed monitoring databases with science-based modeling and statistical analysis functions.
 
The THREATS™ web platform (now active for use in Alberta and Ontario) includes:
 

  • A state-of-the-art database architecture designed to efficiently store / retrieve monitoring data from multiple monitoring stations, sampling events and contributing parties;  
 
  • Advanced statistical trends analysis;   
 
  • Dynamic updating of a user’s analyses and as new data is added;
 
  • Web accessibility for searching, plotting, mapping, preparing reports and adding data with a dashboard interface for managing and responding to environmental trends; and, 
 
  • Real-time ability to support a tier transition / triggers exceedance management approach, while also being able to support proactive risk mitigation practices and procedures.


“Check out this (Greenland) video of THREATS (an open-source cumulative effects assessment tool to help direct environmental management (industrial or other)) and/or planning of future projects. It enables the compiling and juxtaposition of public environmental data (including, but not limited to, wildlife use areas and environmental quality data) with on-site or "targeted" environmental data. For security, the provision to include data protected behind a firewall exists to enable analysis and comparison of potentially sensitive data in the context of other datasets. The goal here is to allow for predictive capability and in turn mitigate potential effects. Equally, this provides a capacity to enable retroactive assessment (investigation of cause) of observed changes. The ability to spatially interpret stressor/pathway/receptor data, and conduct analyses within the tool, while retaining data in its original database (secure) is what is truly unique here. Excited to see what can be achieved with this powerful platform in areas where it has already begun to be used!”

- Neal Tanna
Advisor, Monitoring and Risk Assessment
Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA)
November 3, 2017


For more information about THREATS™, licensing details or participating in a future webinar demonstration, please contact Greenland.THREATS@grnland.com
 
We would also welcome opportunities to further develop THREATS™ for specific client needs and with other teams that have complimentary information technology services. 


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Client Testimonials

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
 

Six Nations of the Grand River

On behalf of the Public Works Office of the Six Nations of the Grand River, we would like to thank Greenland International Consulting Limited for the work completed to prepare the Master Drainage and Flood Remediation Plan (MDFRP) for both the Boston Creek and Rogers Creek subwatersheds, as well as the McKenzie Creek Subwatershed. These findings have enabled our office to identify all flood prone residences, building structures and other infrastructure throughout these subwatersheds with the flood plain mapping that has been prepared as part of this assignment.

Greenland has been integral to assisting our Office with identifying and prioritizing the remedial projects to mitigate flooding in the McKenzie, Boston and Rogers Creek subwatersheds that flow through our Community. We also appreciate Greenland's effort in assisting the Six Nations of the Grand River with the preparation of funding applications to secure the resources to complete these remedial works. We are convinced that this MDFRP completed for McKenzie Creek, Boston Creek and Rogers Creek can be used as a template for completing similar drainage and flood remediation works both locally and in other First Nations.

Michael R. Montour
Director of Public Works
Six Nations of the Grand River

December 2, 2019
 

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
 

Corporate Partnerships

Partnerships and Accreditations