IBM, EPA Ireland Make a Splash for Beach Water Quality

Working together with An Taisce, the National Trust for Ireland, IBM and the Environmental Protection Agency Ireland are collecting and analyzing large amounts of complex data from Ireland's coastline and lakes on water quality, tides, weather forecasts and more. That information is then made easily available to the general public at an online portal, Splash. Currently live in Ireland with plans for global expansion, Splash has already benefited thousands of visitors from nearly 40 countries.

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

The Splash portal is just the beginning of what we hope to accomplish."

The system also enables more efficient reporting by local government authorities and state agencies. Prior to the Splash portal, public reports such as water samples and compliance with standards unavailable until the year after they were collected and created. With Splash, this information is available immediately in a map-based format and adhering to the requirements of the European 2006 Bathing Water Directive. Ireland is the first of the 27 EU member states to implement this online smarter solution for beach water quality reporting.

"Though the total amount of water on the planet has never changed, the nature of the water has," said Sharon Nunes, vice president, Big Green Innovations, IBM. "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 environmental agencies and citizens alike to make smarter decisions about everything from how to handle changes in water quality to where to plan their next vacation."

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