Documentation and how-to

Frequently Asked Questions

Last updated: October 19, 2023

What is DataStream?

DataStream is a place to store, share, access, and visualize water quality and sediment quality data. It's open access, meaning that it is free and open for anyone to use. Data contributors maintain ownership of their data and control over what they choose to publish.

Who is involved in DataStream?

DataStream is a collaborative, network-based initiative that grew out of The Gordon Foundation’s Water Program.

In 2020, DataStream received its own charitable status, and The Gordon Foundation remains committed to supporting its long-term success, including the development of DataStream hubs across Canada to meet regional needs.

DataStream’s online hubs are delivered in collaboration with regional monitoring networks. We work with the following regional partners: Government of the Northwest Territories, Atlantic Water Network and Lake Winnipeg Foundation, and over 250 different monitoring programs across the country.

What kind of data is on DataStream?

DataStream is built to accommodate a wide range of water data, from in-field observations to lab analyses. This includes:

  • Water quality data (physical, chemical, and biological parameters)
  • Sediment quality data
  • Coming soon - we are scoping the inclusion of groundwater quality data

Who is DataStream for?

We work with water monitoring initiatives of all kinds:

  • Community-based water monitoring programs
  • Indigenous governments and organizations
  • Watershed organizations
  • Governments
  • Researchers and consultants

Those collecting the data maintain responsibility for, and control over, their monitoring activities.

Where is DataStream active?

DataStream is active in five regions across Canada. Visit any of our regional data hubs to explore data:

How do I share data on DataStream?

If you have water quality or sediment quality data you would like to share on DataStream, please contact us to set up an account and get started. Note there are no associated service or user fees.

Who owns the data?

Data contributors maintain ownership of their data and control over what they choose to publish. You do not need a data sharing agreement to share data on DataStream. All datasets on DataStream are published under open data licenses, which provide clarity around data ownership, attribution and reuse.

How is the data being used?

A growing number of communities, researchers and decision makers are using data on DataStream to uncover meaningful insights about freshwater health.