FREDERICTON (GNB) – A collaborative initiative of three provincial departments is being nationally recognized today for its innovative approach to building an authoritative water network for New Brunswick.

The New Brunswick Hydrographic Network is a collaboration of the departments of Natural Resources and Environment and Local Government as well as Service New Brunswick. The initiative was nominated under the Government Technology Exhibition and Conference Distinction Awards Program.

"This innovative database provides users with immediate access to current, accurate critical information about surface water in New Brunswick before making important environmental, emergency or developmental decisions," said Government Services Minister Sue Stultz, who is also minister responsible for Service New Brunswick. "I am proud of the entire team across all three departments for the hard work its members have put in to make the hydrographic network such a comprehensive and user-friendly tool for professionals and residents alike."

The awards are being presented today at the annual conference in Ottawa. The event is bringing together government professionals in the information technology sector. It recognizes projects and individuals who have demonstrated exceptional leadership and innovation in the delivery of services to Canadians.

The hydrographic network is a digital topographic database representing the location, characteristics and connectivity of water and water-related features within the province, designed for use in surface water analysis. Potential uses include water flow analysis, environmental intervention, emergency and environmental response preparedness and planning, watershed management, and other mapping applications.

Stultz said that the hydrographic network is a great example of a cost-effective, collaborative initiative that results in better service.

"Our rivers, lakes and watersheds are what sustain and nourish our natural environment water said Natural Resources Minister Paul Robichaud. "New Brunswick's innovative maintenance approach has guaranteed the waters that give life to our forests and wildlife, our farms and communities will be there over the long-term."

"The Government Technology Exhibition and Conference nomination recognizes the team that undertook this work and delivered a world class database under budget and ahead of schedule," said Environment and Local Government Minister Danny Soucy. "I thank them for their perseverance and commitment to delivering such an innovative product for our province and our precious water resource."

The team members are:

●    Bernard Arseneau,
●    Nadine Caissie Long,
●    Rob Capozi,
●    Rob Clement,
●    Kathryn Collet,
●    Karen Connor,
●    Kevin Connor,
●    Bernie Connors,
●    Nelda Craig,
●    Danny Crain,
●    Roger Dick,
●    Jim Feltmate,
●    Dave Finley,
●    Perry Haines,
●    Andy Henry,
●    Janet Higgins,
●    Amanda Keddy,
●    Suping Liu,
●    Andrew MacNeil,
●    Julie McKay,
●    Jamie Mitchell,
●    Alan Moarse,
●    Brent Newton,
●    Daniel Ouellette,
●    Howard Pelkey,
●    Darryl Pupek,
●    Alan Roy,
●    Mary Sabine,
●    Denyse Smart,
●    John Stubbert,
●    Laurie Robichaud,
●    Jeff Stymiest,
●    Lee Swanson,
●    Leon Vietinghoff, and
●    Doris Wu.

The hydrographic network is online as a database; to download; or to view. It includes surface drainage features including rivers, streams, lakes, islands and watershed boundaries, including names for many rivers and streams.