Foundry Spatial is

empowering decisions to shape the future of watersheds and aquifers

Foundry Spatial connects people with technology, science, and data for sustainable water management. We empower our users to make decisions based on accurate and timely information so that water management initiatives can be aligned with sustainable outcomes.

To see what we’ve been working on, check out our blog.

BC Oil and Gas Commission

“Foundry Spatial turns millions and millions of numbers into something that actually explains the hydrology of an area.”

Assembly member, California Legislature

"This tool will provide water users with a quick and inexpensive way to assess existing water supply and demand, addressing one of the biggest existing barriers to developing streamflow enhancement projects that benefit both ecosystems and people."

Province of British Columbia

“A $1.2 Million investment is generating $30 Million annually in opportunity value.”

We specialize in

Water Science For Real-World Problems

Our web-based software makes complex science accessible, creating a solid foundation of understanding for your decision-making process.

Detailed Watershed and Aquifer Information

With on-demand information, you can identify problems and opportunities sooner. Allowing you to spend more of time focusing on solutions.

Geospatial Solutions For Actionable Insight

Our user-centered design process, scientific and engineering skills, and toolbox of cutting-edge technologies helps us craft solutions for your spatial and temporal data problems.

News & Awards

Foundry Spatial Presents: A Very Covid Christmas

22 Dec 2020

With the pandemic giving the Grinch a run for his money, this year’s holiday season is looking a little different for all of us. Yet, just like the Whos in Whoville, Foundry Spatial isn’t going to let anything steal our Christmas spirit.Though a typical Foundry Christmas begins with decorating of the office and concludes with a holiday dinner at one of our favourite local restaurants, we improvised this year and devised the perfect plan to stay safe and still celebrate.The Foundry Spatial Covid Christmas Game Plan:Phase One: The AssignmentGiven that we aren’t able to partake in our usual festivities, the Foundry Team decided to institute a new tradition of virtual Secret Santa. Leading up to Christmas, we all received a FaceTime call from two elves, better known the other eleven months of the year as the daughters of our team member Merie, giving us the name for our gift-giving mission. Over the next few weeks, we all put our Santa hats on and sought out the perfect gift.Phase Two: Operation ExchangeOnce everyone had bought, wrapped, and addressed their gift, each team member received designated drop-off and pick-up times at the office backdoor to ensure social distancing and sanitizing protocols could be followed. Our Toronto-based UX Designer and the Victoria-based team member who pulled her name out of the hat, of course, had the extra step of sending their gifts by sleigh across Canada.Phases Three: The OpeningArguably the most challenging step, team members had to exercise an immense amount of self-control and patience leading up to the much-anticipated Secret Santa Google Meet call. One-by-one, we took turns opening our gifts and trying to guess the team member behind each thoughtful present. Once that was over, the team surprised management with gifts to thank them for all the hard work they’ve done to make our transition to an online office as seamless and enjoyable as possible.Phase Four: Cheesy CelebrationsWith our new goodies in hand, the team split up to finish the workday and reconvene after work for our virtual team dinner. As an office full of foodies, pizza delivery wasn’t exactly going to cut it, so we had a customized charcuterie board delivered to each team member by a local charcuterie business. Seeing as a charcuterie board doesn’t exactly travel well, we sought out the advice of a good friend and Toronto-based cheese connoisseur to recommend the best charcuterie on the East Coast so Alex could join in on the tasty festivities.Phase Five: Betrays and BlanketsThough our team is a tight-knit group, nothing can drive a wedge quite like a surprise game of virtual White Elephant during the team dinner. Turns out that a Kirkland queen-size blanket (pictured top right) does, in fact, trump besties. But, as the ultimate winner and new owner of the coveted blanket said, “don’t hate the player, hate the game”! Safe to say this new tradition will be one that stays for years to come.Phase Six: Getting DistanceThere’s no denying that 2020 has been a mentally and physically draining year for all of us. Despite everything going on in the world right now, our team showed up and exceeded our expectations every day. So we’re closing our office to allow each team member to relax, reflect, and reset for the coming year. This blog post, Getting Distance by Rohan Rajiv, really resonates with us as it speaks to our thoughts behind the office closure. We are firm believers that a happy team is a productive team, and we can’t wait to see everyone’s smiling, well-rested faces back in January 2021.From all of us at Foundry Spatial, we wish you Happy Holidays and a wonderful New Year!  Read more

Trump and Water

30 Oct 2020

Given the sheer magnitude and volume of ridiculousness we’ve heard coming from President Trump over the past four years, you may not remember the 2016 campaign rhetoric paying special attention to the drought in California, and in particular, the conflict around agricultural use of water in the Central Valley.To provide a refresher, Trump stated in a late summer 2016 speech that there was, in fact, no drought in California, and the only problem was that water was being left to flow out into the ocean. This narrative stayed consistent throughout his four years in office and has returned for a second season during his 2020 Covid-19 giveaway tour, er…, I mean, campaign trail.“Look at where California is going to have to ration water,” Trump said during a bizarre Fox News phone interview on October 8th. “You know why?” he continued. “Because they send millions of gallons of water out to sea, out to the Pacific because they want to take care of certain little tiny fish that aren’t doing very well without water, to be honest with you.”Though unsurprising given Trump’s ignorance around climate change and water in general, by not properly attributing the real issues going on in California, he spreads dangerous misconceptions about the true severity of the situation and downplays the importance of the delta smelt. Despite its small size, the delta smelt makes a big impact by acting as a health indicator for the entire Delta ecosystem. By 2015, the species was near extinction, a harrowing reflection of the devastating impacts of the extended drought that started in 2011. Obviously, there is more at play here than just ‘taking care of certain little tiny fish’.Since 2016, there has been an ongoing tug of war between California Democrats and the Trump administration regarding water policy. While the State of California pursues conservation policies that redirect water into the San Francisco Bay to protect the fish, Trump has motioned to roll back protections for the delta smelt and redirect water to farmers. Stuck on the size of the fish, Trump fails to recognize that sending water out to sea through the state’s natural watercourse is not solely an effort to revive the species but is also vital to the preservation of the natural environment. A natural environment that is relied upon by millions of people to make a living.So you might be wondering, what’s the situation actually like in California? The Central Valley stretches about 700 km from top to bottom, parallel to the coast and set inland between the Coast Ranges and the Sierra Nevada mountains. It is California’s most productive agricultural region, one of the most productive in the world, producing more than half of the fruits, vegetables, and nuts grown in the US. All of which requires a big bunch of water.Groundwater, stored in the Central Valley Aquifer under the valley floor, has supplied much of this water for the past century. But the water stored in this aquifer has been depleted faster than it has been replenished, resulting in a groundwater overdraft and causing the ground to sink dramatically. The Sacramento River and San Joaquin River, two of the biggest rivers in northern California, join up before flowing into San Francisco Bay. Water is diverted from these rivers and sent through a series of canals through the Central Valley and into southern California. Along the way, water is withdrawn and used for agriculture. With groundwater stocks rapidly depleting, the water in the rivers is being looked at as a source to support continued agricultural growth through the drought by rediverting more of their water into the canal system, at the expense of ecosystem health in San Francisco Bay.Indicative of the current situation in California, a key component to addressing some of these difficult issues is sustainable water management practices. Answering the imminent need for data and tools in the state, we developed the Foundry Spatial California Water Framework to provide accessible, actionable information concerning sustainable groundwater management.Our work in water management considers the concept of environmental flow needs and streamflow depletion from groundwater pumping. When we look at water supply and demand on a stream or river, it’s not just about the total amount of water that is available compared to the existing water demand but also considering the variability of supply and the amount required for the environmental health of the water system. Putting that into calculations shows how much water needs to be reserved to maintain the health of the ecosystems.The Foundry Spatial California Water Framework bridges the gap between the lack of data and tools in California to prevent adverse impacts to groundwater, surface water, and their dependent ecosystems and vital leading-edge solutions for the long-term sustainability of these resources. By helping resource managers and decision-makers understand the past, present, and future surface water depletion that results from groundwater pumping, we are one piece of the puzzle for solving the water crisis in the state. Another piece of the puzzle is, of course, electing a new president.SourcesHiltzik — LA TimesBusiness InsiderOriginally published at on October 30, 2020.  Read more

California’s Disappearing Wetlands — The Laguna Seca

13 Oct 2020

In California, wetlands are disappearing. In the 1970s, California, with a total surface area of approximately 101 million acres, had 5 million acres of wetland. Today, less than 500,000 acres of wetland remain. More than 90% of historical wetlands have already been lost, and those that remain are vulnerable to human effects and climate change.The Coyote Valley in California connects 1.13 million acres of wildlife habitat. It is home to the Laguna Seca, a now-seasonal wetland in which water is above the surface from December to May. The Laguna Seca was once the Bay Area’s largest wetland system, originally spanning over 1,000 acres. Historically, the wetland existed year-round in a low basin at the junction of Fisher Creek and Coyote Creek. Today, the Laguna Seca is around 10% of its original size, and water disappears from the surface over the summer and fall months.Wetlands in CaliforniaA wetland is an ecosystem where water is present either at or near the surface of the soil year-round or at varying parts of the year. The presence of water in the wetland supports aquatic plants and animal species that directly or indirectly depend on the water supply.Wetlands perform essential ecological functions for the surrounding environment. One of these functions is by acting as sponges to absorb water during flooding. Another function wetlands perform is groundwater recharge, which is the slow release of water to refill aquifers. Wetlands can also store carbon from the atmosphere to help buffer the effects of global warming. In addition to providing essential ecological functions, wetlands are biologically diverse and sustain complex sets of ecosystems.In California, wetlands support migrating birds and host endangered animal species such as the California tiger salamander. Amphibian and fish species depend on the presence of water on the surface of wetlands to spawn. The Coyote Valley provides essential linkages for wildlife moving between the Santa Cruz and Diablo mountain ranges. Protecting the natural ecosystems of the Coyote Valley, such as the Laguna Seca, is one piece of preserving the ecological biodiversity of California.Wetlands are Groundwater Dependent EcosystemsWetlands are disappearing in California for many reasons. The main culprit is water diversion to support development. However, another large contributor to the loss of these ecosystems is the mismanagement of groundwater resources in California. Though groundwater is a valuable resource for people and industries, it is essential for the environment. Because an equilibrium exists between groundwater and surface water within a hydraulically connected region, when groundwater is overused, the supply of surface water is affected. The underlying water table that is crucial to the survival of the wetland drops when groundwater is overdrawn. A large enough drop caused by groundwater extraction can cause permanent damage to the ecosystem.The California Water FrameworkThe state of California has reached a critical junction where leading-edge solutions are vital for the long-term sustainability of the natural environment and dependent ecosystems. The Foundry Spatial California Water Framework addresses this imminent need by providing accessible, actionable information concerning sustainable groundwater management to help preserve and restore critical ecological areas like the Laguna Seca.In unlocking the mystery of how groundwater is connected to surface water, the California Water Framework is helping resource managers and decision-makers understand the past, present and future surface water depletion that results from groundwater pumping. We aim to help balance the complex and sometimes-competing water needs of people, industry and the environment. We believe that steps towards sustainable resource management are necessary in order to promote ecological connectivity, conservation and resistance to climate change in California.SourcesOpen Space AuthorityOpen Space TrustCalifornia’s Disappearing Wetlands — The Laguna Seca was originally published in The Boiler on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.  Read more