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GIS and Beyond

Mapping our way into the 21st Century

Justin D. Richardson, GISP – GIS Coordinator

A Geographic Information System (GIS) is a system of computer hardware and software that integrates, stores, edits, analyzes, shares and displays various layers of geographic information. Databases enable GIS to analyze feature attributes and a feature’s physical location. For example, one simple use of GIS is to identify and track all water main breaks in order to better prioritize future main replacements through our Capital Improvement Program. For water utilities, GIS is commonly used for a whole host of items including source water protection studies, hydraulic modeling, water quality monitoring and distribution system operation and maintenance. The use of GIS in water utilities has grown exponentially in the past decade and is not only invaluable in terms of system planning, operation and maintenance; but is also a requirement for compliance with state and Federal rules and regulations.