GIS Application for Regulatory Compliance


Added on  2019-09-20

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TO: (Recipient of the memo)FROM: (Writer’s name)DATE: Feb 10th, 2018SUBJECT: GIS ApplicationThe purpose of this memo is to provide information about the GIS and its application inwater resource management occurring in the USA in order to address the issue resultingfrom regulatory compliance.The GIS or Geographical Information System is a technological tool that helps to collectgeographic data, uses it to plan and implement the various developmental activities. It helpsto visualize spatial data, analyze and interpret it in order to understand the patterns as wellas the relationship between datasets. Visualizing and analyzing data helps us to understandwhat belongs to where by establishing the relationship between unrelated data. The GIS canempower organizations and individuals to understand spatial patterns as well asrelationships. Through GIS, a digital map can be created which is much more informativeand valuable than the printed map on paper. This digital version of the map can be collatedwith other datasets for interpreting and analyzing information through a graphicalpresentation. The GIS synthesizes large amounts of different information in datasets thuscombining different layers of information to manage and apply the data for useful purposes.Application of GISThe GIS find its application in many areas. Such applications include socioeconomic,environment modeling, topographical mapping, and education. GIS can be applied toanswer location-based questions such as what is located where or how to find the particularfeatures. GIS can be used to find that how much is the forest area, habitat loss, urbansprawl, etc. on the land use map. One can combine elevation data, land use data, river dataand other information to show information about the landscape of a particular area. Fromthe map, one can tell which the best place to build a house, which has the river view orwhere are high lands located. GIS helps to find the new information.Apart from such useful applications GIS is also an effective tool for finding solutions toproblematic areas of water resources. Experts use GIS to collate various data and
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information for useful applications such as managing water resources on a local, regionallevel and assessing water quality of a region.GIS water resource application in the USASewer systems of many old cities of the world including the USA are in critical stages ofdeterioration due to lack of maintenance and aging. Such deteriorated sewer infrastructureis leading to frequent sewer overflows. In the USA, many cities are facing regulatorycompliance for such sewer overflows. In the light of regulatory compliance, the governmentagencies are required to develop and implement sewer overflow control plans in order tocarry out mapping, inspection, and monitoring of rehabilitation plans. For regulatorycompliance, the government agencies are collecting, collating massive data, information onthe condition of the sewer system, and related inventories in cities. However, the challengelies in the cost-effective management of this massive amount of data and monitoring theexisting aging sewer system infrastructure. Fortunately, Geographic Information System (GIS) comes to rescue which is capable ofmanaging, interpret & analyze huge datasets. Integration of field inspection data with GISenables decision support system for the development of sewer rehabilitation plan. Thishelps in planning the rehabilitation required to control the sewer overflows.There are two critical steps in using GIS for regulatory compliance: (i) creating GIS maps ofthe sewer system and (ii) implementing a GIS-based inspection and maintenance program.Currently, in the USA a GIS-based inspection and maintenance of sewer system are done byusing commercial GIS software that links the sewer inspection, defect information containedin a database or spreadsheet to corresponding map features. Such a system provides theConsent Order communities with GIS maps of deteriorated sewer pipe network and sewerrepair works (pipelining, bursting, replacement, manhole repair, and replacement, etc.). Thesystem then generates a series of reports contains the details of damage, recommendedaction plan, and estimation of the repair cost of damaged infrastructure. Finally, the GISmaps and rehabilitation recommendation reports can be combined to generate what aproject manager ultimately needs - bid documents for the repair work.For example, The City of Hampton, Virginia which is a home for 0.15 million people has asewer system infrastructure with 12,000 manholes and valves. The City carried out a survey
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