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Big Blue Helps Ireland Stay Green

IBM has partnered with environmental authorities in the country to establish a real-time water management portal.
IBM has teamed with the Ireland's Environmental Protection Agency to help the country manage water conditions throughout its lakes, beaches and coastlines.

In partnership with An Taisce, the National Trust for Ireland, IBM and the Irish EPA are collecting large amounts of water data from across the country in order to extract information on water quality, tides, coastal conditions, and more.

The information is then published on a public Web site called Splash.

"Our collaboration with IBM and An Taisce is paving the way for smarter water quality management at our beaches and lakes," said EPA Director General Mary Kelly, in a statement. "It's a good example of how smart, green technologies can be deployed to provide easily accessible and useful information to the public," said Kelly.

Splash is designed to deliver real-time information to the bathing public. Prior to its establishment, data collected from waterways was not published until a year after it was collected.

Ireland established Splash in part to comply with the European 2006 Bathing Water Directive, which sets pollution limits and other standards for EU member countries. Ireland is the first of 27 members to implement an online water management and reporting system.

IBM sees application of the system beyond Europe.

"Though the total amount of water on the planet has never changed, the nature of the water has," said Sharon Nunes, VP for IBM's Big Green Innovations unit.

"Everything from where rain falls to the chemical makeup of the oceans is in flux, and it continues to change in real time. By providing near real-time access to water conditions, we're enabling agencies and citizens alike to make smarter decisions about everything from water to how to handle changes in water quality to where to plan their next vacation," said Nunes.

IBM eventually plans to roll out the technology behind Splash globally, according to the company.

InformationWeek Analytics has published a guide to the Open Government Directive and what it means for federal CIOs. Download the report here (registration required).