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Water Resources

GIS has enabled government agencies and private organizations to extend the delivery of their data from numerical tables to maps and to support various forms of spatial searches for relevant data. There has also been a gradual but steady increase in the spatial content of several special-purpose hydrologic data sets. The development of a new data set of watersheds and river networks that can be used to route continental runoff to the appropriate coast (i.e., ocean or inland sea). This data set includes watershed and flow direction information, as well as supporting hydrologic data. , at 5-minute, 1/2o, and 1o resolutions globally. This data set will be useful in fully coupled land-ocean-atmosphere models, terrestrial ecosystem models and macroscale hydrologic modeling studies.

Water Resource Decision Support Systems:
Several efforts have been launched to develop and sustain water resource decision support systems. Some of these systems are aimed at research applications and others are designed to support specific watershed management goals. For example, several water resource decision support systems linked with the ArcView GIS have been developed to support the assessment of the impact of urban planning on water resources.

Water and Sewer Applications
The major GIS applications for the water industry are summarized in the following list:
a) GIS provides the ideal means of describing water and sewer infrastructure facilities, Identifying problems and recommending solutions, scheduling and recording maintenance activities, and supporting technical analysis (e.g., hydraulic modeling) Of the facilities. For example, GIS can be used for mapping the water mains And identifying water main breaks in terms of location, pressure, soil type, pipe Size, pipe material or pipe age.

b) Various spatial data layers can be combined and manipulated in a GIS to address Planning, operation and management issues. For example, water and sewer line Information can be combined with population statistics and ground elevation data to assess the adequacy of water and sewer utilities.

c) GIS topology provides information about how the network elements are connected With each other and what is the direction of flow. This capability makes GIS Ideally suitable for identifying customers of a utility network affected by service Interruption, such as water main leaks and breaks.

d) GIS can be used to satisfy regulatory requirements that are increasingly reliant On computer-generated data and maps. For example, GIS can be used to develop Water/sewer system inventory reports and watershed protection/management Plan.

e) GIS can be used to develop hydrologic and hydraulic (H&H) computer models for water and sewer systems, watersheds, and floodplains.

f) GIS can be used to design efficient meter-reading routes. This can be accomplished by linking the customer account database to the streets GIS layer.

g) GIS topology can help us to simulate the route of materials along a linear network. For example, we can assign direction and speed to a streams layer to simulate the fate of an accidental contaminant release by a factory through the stream network.

h) GIS can be integrated with automated mapping/facilities management (AM/FM) systems to automate inspection, maintenance and monitoring of water and sewer systems. Sample applications include:

i) Preparing work orders for inspection and maintenance activities, Scheduling TV inspection and cleaning of sewers, Identifying the valves that must be closed to repair a broken water pipe, Keeping track of leak detection survey for a water system

j) Creating a map of customer complaints, pipe breaks, and basement flooding and identifying the reasons, improving management of labor resources through more efficient deployment of field crews.

k) GIS analyses can be used to develop a decision support system for the efficient operation and management of storm water, best management practices (BMPs), floodplains, combined sewer overflows (CSOs), and sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs).

l) GIS can be used to integrate related technologies, such as relational database management systems (RDBMSs), the Internet, wireless communications, CAD, GPS, and remote sensing (satellite imagery). The integrated platform provides the best of all worlds.