Wondering whether your favorite Irish lake is clean enough to swim in? How about whether the local beach has enough sand to make some serious sandcastles? IBM and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Ireland can help. The two organizations recently rolled out Splash, a site that reports on weather, water quality, tides, pollution levels, and even lifeguard availability at 130 lakes and beaches in Ireland.
Previously, this information wasn't available to the public until a year after it was gathered. But Splash provides near real-time reports on the status of Ireland's lakes.
If all goes as planned with the Splash portal, IBM plans to roll it out to 27 other EU countries. Eventually, IBM might bring the reporting system to a global audience. It will certainly be welcome—as climate change heats up, water quality and levels are becoming increasingly volatile. According to Sharon Nunes, IBM's VP of Big Green Innovations, "Everything from where rain falls to the chemical makeup of the oceans is in flux, and it continues to change in real time."
For its part, IBM is determined to benefit from the changing nature of water availability and quality. This past summer, the computing giant teamed up with Rotterdam, the Netherlands on a forecasting system for water and energy management. The company also recently opened up the Netherlands-based Global Center of Excellence for Water Management in the Netherlands.