I would like to acknowledge the traditional territories of the people of the Treaty 7 region and the Metis Nation of Alberta, Region 3. We respect the histories, languages, and cultures of First Nations, Metis, Inuit, and all First Peoples of Canada, whose presence continue to enrich our community.
The ECCE App Challenge for 2021 focused on the United Nations Sustainability Goal 10, Reducing Inequality. My name is Chelsea Fitzpatrick (MGIS candidate) and I am one of the ECCE student associates for the Geography Department at the University of Calgary. I had the wonderful opportunity to work with masters’ students Rhiannon Scott (MGIS candidate) and Coleman Vollrath (MSc Candidate) to represent the University of Calgary as the ‘ARCiTechs‘.
For years, Indigenous communities have suffered from poor water quality and many nations have been under boil water advisories for decades. To bring awareness to this issue and to provide up to date information, our team has developed an ArcGIS StoryMap and an ArcGIS Dashboard called ‘kNOwH2O’.
Using Esri products, our team developed interactive and informative platforms where Indigenous communities, the public, and the government can visit to have up-to-date information relating to water quality. Our team chose to create a StoryMap where we could incorporate maps, videos, and create a culturally respective open narrative about water quality in Indigenous communities.
This project was especially impactful for our team, given that one of the videos depicts an Indigenous woman who struggles to buy hundreds of dollars’ worth of water bottles every week, while the City of Calgary can be seen in the background. Clean water should not be a privilege. While we take our clean tap water for granted, some Indigenous communities have had boil water advisories in place for decades. Many children in the Indigenous communities do not know what it is like to have clean water come directly from the taps. The Dashboard ‘kNOwH2O’ not only provides Indigenous communities with real time information about water quality, but it also allows for the tracking of revoked advisories since 2016.
The kNOwH2O app and StoryMap can be a powerful tool in the advocacy for change. One of the biggest issues preventing government action is a lack of public awareness to the issue. Using StoryMaps and the Dashboard will allow Canadians to see the scope of the problem and how many Indigenous communities lack access to safe drinking water.
Please see the links below to the StoryMap and the Dashboard to find additional information about kNOwH2O:
Link to StoryMap: https://storymaps.arcgis.com/stories/04c8256e68884cf681eaba0addeb7294
Link to Dashboard: https://experience.arcgis.com/experience/1f86b264a521490c9433fa0047d4ab48
Canadians should be aware that this inequality is a reality for many Indigenous communities. Access to clean and safe water is a right every Canadian should possess.
The ECCE App Challenge was an incredible opportunity. I learned a lot and had the pleasure of working with two amazing team members. Thank you Esri, Michael Leahy, and the University of Calgary Geography Department!