Water Industry – What are the 3 Top Challenges in 2016?
1) Climate Change
Changing weather patterns which causing drought and floods affect water and waste-water conveyance, treatments systems, intakes, storm-water and drainage management systems. Extreme weather events have added unpredictability to water management. These events have also increased the need for improved emergency response. A water companies level of preparedness can mean the difference between temporary inconveniences and serious health and environmental consequences.
2) Cost Effective Management and Improvement of Water Infrastructure
Water systems are in continual need of repair and improvement. This work can be both time consuming and expensive. Finding new ways to more efficiently operate and improve is a constant challenge for water companies.
3) Managing a Changing Workforce
Water companies have an aging workforce. There will be an accelerated rate of retirement over the next decade. Replacing retiring staff with new, skilled workers presents many challenges. Finding, retaining and training a new younger workforce will be crucial to the future of many water companies.
GIS Helping to Solve Water Industry Challenges
GIS technology can help water companies overcome many of their current challenges. Fundamentally GIS is mapping technology, it is technology designed to help organizations with planning, managing, organizing, communicating and marketing. Water companies constantly deal with WHERE questions. GIS is designed to answer these WHERE questions such as:
WHERE are our assets – valves, pipes, facilities etc?
WHERE is our system most vulnerable to flooding, and can we visualize and predict and reduce impact?
WHERE are our field staff working, and can we provide new staff with the information they need to get their job done?
A well designed GIS can help staff across water companies: with the management and improvement of the infrastructure, planning and preparedness for weather events, providing new ways for staff to access data, communicate and efficiently complete work.
The GIS Revolution
GIS is in the midst of a revolution. With the popularity of cloud and mobile, GIS is undergoing dramatic changes. Now both more affordable and easier to use, GIS platforms have emerged like ArcGIS which provide a one stop shop for all GIS needs:
1) A central database of all your organizational data (System of Record)
2) Rich set of services providing routing, addressing, demographic data etc.
3) A wide array of pre-built applications addressing many of your specific needs and challenges (System of Engagement)
In the water industry that means new ways to view, analyse and plan infrastructure improvements, maintain the existing system, flood and weather event management and using mobile GIS to help plug the “brain drain” gap.
As an example GIS can provide a complete flood management system, answering questions like when is the flood coming? What will the flood look like? Who will be affected and planning your response.
WebMapSolutions are GIS experts. We are particularly focused on providing solutions to the water industry to help overcome your challenges today and tomorrow.
Need help? Let’s connect, contact us on 801-733-0723.