GIS supports Singapore’s water journey29/08/2014
In just five decades, Singapore’s Public Utilities Board has managed to overcome water shortages despite the country’s lack of natural aquifers and land, using GIS to establish a robust and sustainable water supply for the entire country.
This success was driven by the Public Utilities Board’s (PUB) strategic planning and investments in advanced research and technology.
Supporting PUB’s planning and operations is an Esri-powered Geographic Information System (GIS) solution called GERI, which was specifically designed to increase productivity and improve collaboration and productivity among PUB’s operational departments.
GERI brings data from the various operational departments within PUB onto a single platform to provide decision-makers with a holistic view of the entire water supply, drainage and used water network.
By presenting geospatial information via an interactive map, GERI provides PUB officers with quick access to operational data at a glance, as well as the capability to go into details, thus improving their operational efficiency.
GERI features an intuitive, user-friendly interface, so any user in the organisation – even those who may not be familiar with GIS technology – can easily visualise and understand network information. In particular, GERI provides support across three main areas:
All customer cases reported to PUB’s 24-hour call centre are easily displayed on a GERI map with their locations tagged. To improve situational awareness, officers can simultaneously view nearby spatial and real-time information (used water level sensors, water level of drains, canals, etc.), CCTV images and information relating to buildings and developments in the vicinity, and PUB construction activities.
GERI is also equipped with a water supply network tracing function, so when water supply isolation is required the system will recommend solutions to shut valves and identify areas that may be affected during the isolation process.
GERI helps identify existing water, used water and drainage infrastructure within any new land development. Developers of these sites are then notified to consult PUB so pre-emptive measures on the infrastructure can be implemented.
This facilitates better planning of construction activities to protect infrastructure within these new developments.
Network capacity planning
Used water and drainage network capacity planning tools are being developed in GERI to ascertain the capacity of the networks in a faster and more systematic manner. The tool takes into consideration the current consumption figures and patterns, use of the existing infrastructure, planned land use and projected demand, amongst other parameters. The network can then be optimised and plans made for future expansion.
PUB’s use of GIS technology first started as a static solution in 2011, but has since grown to support organisation-wide planning and operations. In the future, GERI will be used to support business analytics for the agency, especially in the area of asset management.