Next time you are out for a run or hike on your favorite California trail, bring your iPhone loaded with the Creek Watch application and snap a picture of the local watersheds. IBM has partnered with the California State Water Control Board to empower outdoor enthusiast to help monitor the health of the State's water resources.
The Creek Watch iPhone application enables you to snap a picture of any waterway and report how much water and trash you see. The data is aggregated from all users and shared with the Water Control Board, scientists and environmental agencies to help them track pollution and manage water resources.
The Creek Watch application asks you to report on four simple data points: the amount of water, the rate of flow, the amount of trash, then asks you to upload a photo. On the Creek Watch website, you can view all the data that others have submitted via a Google map overlay of California or as a large data table.
The free app is only a couple of weeks old, so the current dearth of data points is no surprise. For example, there is nothing in the North Bay as of yet (I will fix that!). The IBMers down around San Jose have been busy uploading data however on their local waterways.
So download the Creek Watch application and bring your iPhone with you next time you hit the trails to do your part to help preserve the environment in California. The understanding is that if this goes well in California, IBM plans to roll it out nationwide and most likely internationally as well.