Google, South Florida Water Management partner to tackle critical water programs

by | Nov 2, 2022

  • South Florida Water Management is the largest and oldest water district in Florida, overseeing water resources for more than nine million residents from Orlando to the Florida Keys
  • Google Public Sector’s recent climate insights partnerships include Hawaii, New York and Canada
  • Google Cloud says it is committed to building relationships with agencies across the world to reduce environmental impact with the cleanest cloud in the industry

Google Public Sector is partnering with the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) to help the agency inform water management decisions across the district.

The partnership will see Google Public Sector deploy its Climate Insights for natural resources solution— powered by Google Earth Engine (GEE) running on Google Cloud and Climate Engine — to help support the availability of drinking water for Florida residents, while also preserving national treasures, like America’s Everglades.

The cloud-based technology will also help the district combat harmful algal blooms (HABs), assist with natural resource restoration, and undertake other important sustainability work. According to a news release, the partnership supports Google’s overall water stewardship strategy to share technology and tools that enable decision-makers to take action around water issues.

“The South Florida Water Management District is proud to continue our water quality improvement efforts using the best available science and tools,” said Sean Sculley, South Florida Water Management District’s chief of applied science. “Our partnership with Google Public Sector and Climate Engine comes at a pivotal time in Florida’s history and recently enhanced environmental restoration efforts. These sustainability solutions will help us to make better decisions for the communities and environment in South Florida.”

Additionally, Google Cloud solutions, like Earth Engine, BigQuery, and Vertex AI, will help the district significantly reduce manual work, provide centralized access to analysis-ready data, and connect together its many research and development platforms.

The SFWMD is also building a prototype artificial intelligence (AI) model to better understand and anticipate HABs before they occur. The AI will help prevent adverse impacts to regional water quality and wildlife, while supporting recreational activities like fishing, swimming, boating, and waterskiing.

To help its workforce onboard to Google Cloud, SFWMD said it is also leveraging Google Cloud Skills Boost, building the team’s Google Cloud knowledge through self-paced labs, quests, and role-based learning paths. Core team members will also participate in a six-week Professional Cloud Architect (PCA) learning journey, supported by technical mentorship and exam review sessions with a dedicated trainer.

“Climate impact is one of the world’s most complex ‘big data’ problems, and Google Public Sector is uniquely positioned to solve it,” said Brent Mitchell, managing director, Google Public Sector, U.S. State and Local Government, and Education. “We’re combining our technology know-how and leadership in analytics to help South Florida unlock data insights to better understand and mitigate against the impacts of a changing climate, weather patterns, development, and water use on natural resources, as efficiently as possible.”

1 Comment

  1. dolphincritic

    The entire state needs to network its water management. This change may be good for everyone. I hope Google can suggest the use of renewable energy resources to channel and pump water to areas in Florida where water is needed or can be stored rather than dumping it in the ocean. Algae is a problem too. A gray water irrigation system could help, as well. Reuse nutrient rich gray water in agricultural applications. All fueled by the sun and the wind.

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