Always science-forward

Our approach integrates science, technology and data to support better decision-making. To continue expanding, we work with experts in hydrology, forest ecology, and data science and partner with academic and scientific groups to ensure our solutions are cutting-edge.

By investing in fundamental research that develops new scientific and technology approaches, our frameworks and solutions are improving people’s understanding of the world.

Our Approach

We believe science and technology can help you understand the local context for decision-making by starting with three questions:

What is the information needed to make a decision?
How can science & technology provide this?
Are there limitations with the available data?

Delivering Solutions

Our solutions are like icebergs. The tip of the iceberg is the user interface - simple, beautiful and well designed above the water. But below the water is significant science and technology advances that we highlight here for the inner nerd in all of us. Our science and technology advances focus on some key topics:

Surface water resources and watershed hydrology
Groundwater resources and groundwater-surface water interactions
Forest and riparian ecosystems in a changing climate

Recent Articles

Foundry Spatial California Water Framework Overview

Feb 12 2021

The California Water Framework is a web application that provides information to support the conjunctive management of surface and groundwater resources. Covering a broad spectrum of critical water management issues, the California Water Framework is an end to end solution: data acquisition to web-based decision support. The key to the framework is high-quality data, combined with robust analytics, delivered through a powerful, cutting-edge technology platform.Our overarching objective with the framework is to provide insightful, on-demand, unbiased, and actionable information that can help support sustainable water resource management decision-makers at all levels.The CWF has three key features: The Fully Integrated Water Rights and Allocations tool, Groundwater Pumping and Streamflow Depletion, and Watershed and Basin Reporting.Fully Integrated Water Rights and Allocations ToolComplete watershed analysis of water rights, licensing, and surface water and groundwater allocationsComplete picture of sustainable limits for withdrawals from a watershed, as well as fully appropriated and available allocations for every streamDetailed, location-specific surface water and groundwater rights and licensing information available directly from the mapGroundwater Pumping and Streamflow DepletionTest the impacts of new proposed groundwater withdrawals on streamflowAccurate, real-time estimates of the location and magnitude of groundwater pumping impacts throughout a stream networkEvaluate impacts either by individual wells, or cumulative impacts to streams and aquifersRun projections into the future to assess sustainability objectivesResults of depletion models are provided on demand and integrated into easily understood reports for actionable water management decision makingWatershed and Basin ReportingCustom, on-demand reports for every stream, lake, and watershedReports provide insight into water supply, demand, and environmental flow needs, along with watershed characteristics including land cover, topography, and past and future climateInteractive, location-sensitive reporting to evaluate environmental sustainability objectivesDisplay and analysis of monitoring data, stream hydrographs, surficial geology, and other important water management informationOverall, the California Water Framework provides a holistic and unbiased view of water management using analytical models that are not constrained by the limited domains typically associated with numerical model approaches. Fully understanding water budgets, ecosystem impacts, and groundwater sustainability is crucial for water resource managers, and the California Water Framework allows them to do that and more.While we’re working on getting all of the data together for the state, we’re keen to further engage with Groundwater Sustainability Agencies, consultants, and non-SGMA watershed or groundwater basin organizations to fulfill two key priorities. First, incorporate additional, more detailed information for local areas or regions, and second, further demonstrate the data and information capabilities of the framework. Stay tuned to see what exciting projects Foundry Spatial tackles next!Foundry Spatial California Water Framework Overview was originally published in The Boiler on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.  Read more

Innovative Groundwater-Surface Water Interaction Reporting

Dec 21 2020

It sounds like a straightforward concept, but coming up with a user-friendly way to represent the mechanism of how groundwater and surface water interact has proved to be difficult. So difficult, that it has never been satisfactorily done — until now.This month a unique scientific reporting approach is being quietly announced to hydrological scientists and practitioners as an important proof of concept. The approach will drive an online map-based tool to clearly show how local groundwater availability is affected by new wells drilled in an area, and how surface water and groundwater interact.The approach was jointly created by Victoria-based environmental tech firm, Foundry Spatial, and the research group of University of Victoria’s Tom Gleeson, a hydrogeologist in the civil engineering department and a world-leader in the study of groundwater sustainability.“Most people think of Canada as a land of pristine lakes, rivers and glaciers. Groundwater, which exists everywhere under the surface of the land, is not usually considered, even though more than a quarter of Canadians rely on groundwater,” says Ben Kerr, CEO at Foundry Spatial.“The approach we have developed allows users to explore the linkages between surface and groundwater supply and demand in a way that has never before been possible,” says Dr. Tom Gleeson.Now, in mere seconds with just the click of a mouse, hydrological data is retrieved and presented, allowing users to:Click on a stream to see the current impacts on water flow from existing water withdrawals (e.g. water taken by industry, agriculture, communities, homesteaders, etc.);Click on an existing groundwater well to learn which streams are affected by the well;Click on the site of a proposed groundwater well site, enter a pumping rate, and see the impact on the local aquifer and nearby streams; andClick on an aquifer to see its current state.Groundwater is present beneath the Earth’s surface in porous soil spaces and the fractures of rock formations. Such regions underground are called aquifers when they contain a usable quantity of water for people, livestock, industry, and the environment. Surface water, on the other hand, encompasses any body of water found above ground. That includes rivers, wetlands, reservoirs, creeks, streams, and lakes. Groundwater and surface water are hydrologically connected, meaning they affect and are affected by one another.This past March, the Province of British Columbia replaced the Water Act with the Water Sustainability Act, a framework of policies and regulations aimed at caring for BC water resources. The new Act requires a significant amount of location-specific water information when applying for a water use licence. For the first time, users of BC groundwater for non-domestic purposes like irrigation, industry, water bottling, and municipal water systems require a water licence. Just like surface water users, these users must also pay fees and annual water rentals.The joint Foundry Spatial-UVic research and development project was funded in part by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), whose mandate is to invest in scientific discovery for the benefit of Canada.“Groundwater is complex and difficult to understand, but it is very important all over the world,” says Gleeson. His work, published in Nature Geoscience, emphasizes that point, estimating that, if you piled all the groundwater in the world on top of the continents, it would be 180m deep. By contrast, the same action performed with all the fresh surface water would result in a depth of only 0.25m.“Our model used hydrological data from British Columbia and Alberta because we live and work here,” says Kerr, “But the science is sound and universally applicable. The tool can be employed anywhere in the world — any place where sound decisions need to be made to balance the competing needs for natural water resources.”Hydrogeologists and other water practitioners, along with government decision-makers responsible for natural resource management, are encouraged to contact Foundry Spatial and the University of Victoria for more information on the details and use cases of the new tool.Innovative Groundwater-Surface Water Interaction Reporting was originally published in The Boiler on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.  Read more

Groundwater-Surface Water Interactions Workshop

Dec 21 2020

The six undesirable outcomes targeted by the SGMA water management FrameworkThe workshop was well-organized and executed, and we would like to thank Jessica Bean, Erik Ekdahl, Samuel Boland-Brien, and the rest of the organizing team for the opportunity to participate.We are excited about the next steps we will be taking in 2019 towards the development of a California Water Tool to help regulatory bodies, water users and the general public to effectively use data to gain insight on the water management challenges in the state.Groundwater-Surface Water Interactions Workshop was originally published in The Boiler on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.  Read more