Challenge: Water Crisis Prediction & Adaptation


Weather and hydrologic conditions on the Great Lakes and neighboring coastal communities can turn quickly, without much warning. A water crisis, whether it's flooding (driven by high winds, waves and lake levels), lake-effect snow, ice dams in the tributary rivers or unsafe conditions, can wreak havoc on coastal communities and lake users.  Also, first responders during a flash flood event need the best available information to avoid flooded areas to get to people in need in a timely fashion. Resilience of a community relies heavily on its capacity to coordinate adequately the communications between local authorities responsible for the multiple aspects of climate readiness with the public. 

The Challenge would be to predict potential water crisis events and to improve the communication coordination to reduce the risks and impacts of extreme weather events.

Ideas for solutions:

  • An application that synthesizes real-time data and short-term forecasts to warn folks (recreational users, health and safety professionals, or city managers) about when Lake Ontario is about to have one of its “moods”? 
  • A climate adaption tool for coastal community planners to visualize changing water levels and their impacts to coastal communities by automating water level data mixed with weather (e.g., snow melts, flooding events and ice jams). 
  • Communications tool during and after extreme weather events to improve coordination between local authorities and the public. 
  • Model flooding hot spots based on water levels, land cover, weather conditions and create a notification system for mobile devises.

WANT TO KNOW MORE?  Watch the challenge webinar HERE

2017 Quebec Floods   Montreal 34504962346

Challenge leaders

Organisations that are partnering to submit and design the challenge statement.

They will provide experts and data to help teams develop their solutions.

GLOS is one of 11 Regional Associations of the Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS®), working to enhance the ability to collect, deliver, and use ocean and Great Lakes information. IOOS is a partnership among federal, regional, academic and private sector parties that work to provide data for tools and forecasts to improve safety, enhance the economy, and protect our environment. 

Mayors of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative are a unique and united political voice who are active in the protection, restoration and enhancement of the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River, improving the quality of life for this immense region’s population.


List of experts available to help teams understand the issue and develop their solutions.

Tad Slawecki

Senior Engineer with background in computer engineering and environmental health sciences

John F. Bratton, PhD

Senior Scientist with broad expertise in earth and environmental sciences

Kathy Koch

Data Curator