Case Study: Private Group Water Schemes
Private Group Water Schemes provide drinking water to over 25% of the rural population. They are mainly voluntary organisations, mostly structured as Co-operatives and Managed by Committees with all those supplied by the Scheme included as members of the Co-operative. The majority of Group Water Schemes were set up in the 1960’s and 1970’s with grant assistance from the Department of Environment and Local Authorities. All Group Water Schemes that are affected by the Drinking Water Regulations have to ensure that the water they supply to their members meets certain standards set down by the EU.
These organisations have many kilometres of piping that has extended over the years, although most have paper maps of the network, accuracy may vary from design to as built drawings, with local knowledge being the main source of information. Many Schemes want to have an accurate map of the entire network and infrastructure so that every valve, fitting and meter can be easily identified and located. This would be extremely beneficially when new operational personnel take over the maintenance of the Group Water Scheme so locating all infrastructure would be made easy.
Many Schemes have gone down the GPS mapping of their entire systems which provides them with a paper map of the entire network but due to the expense of various software programmes the Group Water Schemes were unable to view this content electronically.
MapTech Solutions were able to provide a customised cross platform webGIS solution in order to view and query the GPS data. The data consists of water meters (point data), pipeline network (polyline data) sites and catchment areas around their sources (polygon data). As the data can be accessed on smartphone devices, the mobile solution takes advantage of the Geolocation API ensuring user location can be obtained while surveying in the field. Both mobile and desktop applications also allow you to query where water meters are located and have a range of basemaps associated with them to help you identify where you are.
The first step in the process was to ensure data align with background aerial mapping. Data is colour coded and converted into a GIS format usable for web GIS programming and mapping. A mobile and desktop framework were developed to allow for this data to be viewed and queried on desktop and mobile devices.
All GPS data surveyed is converted to GIS friendly formats and viewable on mobile and desktop applications. This ensures pipeline network and water meters are identifiable through mobile and desktop applications. It also means, data is no longer in hard copy paper format, but in digital format where it can be shared easily amongst other organisations, if needs be.