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

Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority

On behalf of the Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority, we would like to thank you and your consulting firm for your technical capacity in completing the CANWET model with baseline conditions in our watershed.

I have worked closely with Greenland Consulting Engineers (Greenland) over the past two years as part of this project. We also value your staff’s ability to troubleshoot issues and respond on time. Greenland’s commitment, thoroughness, and professionalism have led to the success of this project with the addition of a new routine to the CANWET software.

It has been a great pleasure to work with Greenland and we look forward to using your expertise again in the near future.

Sobhalatha Kunjikutty, Ph.D, P.Eng.
Water Resources Engineer
Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority

February 19, 2015
 

County of Simcoe

Greenland provided exemplary consulting services to complete this landmark project. The firm’s attention to detail and proactive ideas was very important to assist the County in addressing the issues of concern about the study’s findings and also providing defendable, yet provocative, solutions based on best available science and proven technologies for the benefit of all local municipalities.

This letter confirms that the study objectives were met within the approved time frame. Greenland also provided a sizeable in-kind contribution to complete value-added deliverables and established new partnerships in terms of future watershed modeling and technology development initiatives involving the County of Simcoe. 

Rick Newlove, P. Eng.
General Manager of Engineering, Planning and Environment
County of Simcoe

May 1, 2012
 

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
 

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