Integrating Water Resources Information Using GIS and the Web

AWRA 2010 Spring Specialty Conference, Orlando, FL, March 29-31, 2010

Jack Dangermond and David Maidment

“GIS is a vital tool for building a digital information base for water resources management and analysis. Thus far, the focus in application of GIS in water resources has been on processing and synthesis of geospatial water data layers and building GIS preprocessors for water simulation models. Besides desktop and server-based GIS, a new field of web-based GIS is emerging, supported by broader bandwidth, faster computers and massive data storage. Organizations are creating geo-services on the web to open access to their information. A new challenge in water resources is to use GIS and the web to synthesize access to water observations data – the time series of flow, water levels and water quality about surface and groundwater resources that are presently held in a myriad of independently managed tabular databases maintained by water agencies. The Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science, Inc (CUAHSI) has invented a language, WaterML, for the transmission of water observations data through the internet, and has built a national water metadata catalog for water observations data in the United States. By geo-enabling and extending the CUAHSI model for water data services a new web GIS for water resources can be created. This will enable the easy integration of large volumes of water data and complex models into simple to use applications that become pervasive.”