Digital dashboard allows public access to scientific monitoring of Lake George

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TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10)- The Jefferson Project is dedicated to monitoring Lake George’s water quality. The project is now making it easier for the public to check up on the health and environmental conditions of the lake through a digital dashboard, the jeffersonproject.live.

Founded in 2013, The Jefferson Project brought together The Fund for Lake George, IBM Research, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in an effort to scientifically monitor Lake George with the latest technology.

The weather and tributary station data come from the more than 50 sensor platforms and 500 “smart sensors” deployed by the project in and around Lake George as part of its sophisticated lake-monitoring system. The sensors monitor the weather, the water quality of streams that feed the lake, the water conditions from the lake surface to the lake bottom, and the lake’s circulation patterns. They capture immense amounts of physical and chemical data, which feed powerful computer models and inform a wide variety of experiments, all designed to pinpoint existing threats to the lake’s health, identify future threats, and develop science-guided solutions and best practices to protect the resource and the people and wildlife who rely on it.

Press release from RPI on The Jefferson Project Digital Dashboard.

“We are delighted to make Jefferson Project data available to the public in such a highly accessible way as we all work together to ensure sustained lake protection,” said Director of the Darrin Fresh Water Institute at RPI and Director of The Jefferson Project, Rick Relyea.

“The utilization of Deep Thunder by the data dashboard provides high-resolution weather forecasts for the Lake George area, at both the geographical and time scales,” said IBM Fellow at IBM Research and Associate Director of The Jefferson Project, Harry Kolar. “The highly accurate forecasts continue to support the scientific mission of The Jefferson Project and will be of interest to the recreational users of the dashboard.”

The dashboard provides real-time data at various points, up and down Lake George, on water/air temperature, wind speed, nutrient levels like phosphorus and sodium, clarity, and algae level. An overview of the general health of the lake is also available.

Agricultural runoff and the use of rock salt have had a significant impact on the lake. Phosphorus, from agricultural runoff, has increased by 70% in 37 years. Sodium and chloride from road salt have risen 218% and 204% respectively during the same time period.

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