GIS based software solution for ground water studies: GWIS

GIS based software solution for ground water studies: GWIS


P.V. Shivraj1 & P. Jothimani2
Pentasoft Technologies Limited, Tidel Park, 
Taramani, Chennai- 600 113, India
1[email protected]  & 2[email protected]

Accurate and reliable groundwater resource information are critical to planners and decision-makers at all levels of government, researchers, developers and the business community. Most of the developing countries including India are focussing on improved data management, precise analysis and effective dissemination of data, and initiated steps towards meeting these demands. In order to cater the requirements an attempt has been made to develop a comprehensive Ground Water Information System (gWIS) with extensive capabilities of GIS through a case study of river basin. gWIS is an indegenously developed package which will address the above requirements. The data/information requirements are at macro to micro levels viz River basin and Watershed as well as administrative units (State, District, Taluk, Village). gWIS is a 32-bit Windows-based ground water data management and analysis software that can comprehensively manage, evaluate and present most types of ground water information both spatially and non-spatially. The efficiency of this software lies in it’s easy to use interface developed using Visual Basic and a high-performance ground water database in Oracle. This software enables you to organize the different aspects of ground water related data viz. hydrological, lithological, meteorological, hydrochemical, geophysical, well inventory, Pumptest etc.. both spatially and non spatially.

The information society, transforming many traditional structures and services, increases the speed and volume of data exchanges, facilitates their integration and develops active user/data interactions. It also popularizes and generalizes the need for information. The huge investment in the areas of ground water exploration, development, management, planning etc. at state and national levels in India aims to meet the requirement of water as drinking and irrigation generates enormous amount of data. An integrated approach is very much required for any ground water studies due to the complex nature of land and water. This type of study involves data from meteorology, water level, water quality, surface hydrology, aquifer characteristics, lithology, resistivity, well construction and designing, well inventory, socio-economic etc. The need for software to handle both spatial and non-spatial data and later analysis of these data for the decision making is very much required. Pentasoft Technologies Limited, Chennai during the end of year 2000, indigenously developed gWIS in the area of ground water.

This software helps you in ground water related data processing and management. gWIS, structurally 3 tier, developed for the people working in the area of ground water studies.

Tier 1. Spatial Data – GIS Environment
Tier 2. Non-spatial Data – MIS Environment
Tier 3. Analysis – Expert System Environment

gWIS is flexible, user-controlled, sophisticated, and versatile. It’s an object oriented, relational database and tailored to use as a surface and ground water information system suitable for Indian scenario. The software integrates classical ground water information (basic details, water level, lithology, geophysics, pump test, well construction and design, water quality, well inventory etc.) with geographic display. The software is programmed as a windows application, and it uses all windows resources: memory management, fonts, colors, screen, printer, and plotter drivers, etc. It is input and output device independent, and has no memory limitations except for the ones that are intrinsic to any windows application. The database can be filtered; that is, a large set of information can be reduced to subset having user-selected attributes on any part of the data.

One of the immediate use of the software is to create basic spatial and non-spatial database and generation of documents and reports, with all data processed in graphs, maps, and tables for further characterization and evaluation of sites, contaminant potentials, need for remediation and water development potential.

How It Works

In addition to ground water data processing, maps generated from various GIS platforms can be integrated with “gWIS” for spatial representation and visualization. Various location and thematic content maps become an integral part of the ground water database. The exchange of information with other software package is enabled via import and export options.

The following layers have been included in the development of gWIS for an effective data management and analysis for ground water study.

Layers   Feature Type
District/Taluk/Village/River basin/Watershed Boundary Poly
Drainage (Drainage Density Line/Poly
Geology Poly
Topography/Relief Line/Poly
Lineament (Lineament Density) Line/Poly
Land use Poly
Hydrogeomorphology Poly
Water Quality Sample locations Point
Waterlevel monitoring stations Point
Geophysical survey locations Point
Litholog locations Point
Pump Test Locations  Point
Other important locations/Land marks Point
a. Rainfall
Pre-Monsoon Poly
Post Monsoon  Poly
Average Poly
Annual Poly
b. Water level
Pre-Monsoon Poly
Post Monsoon  Poly
Average Poly
Annual Poly
c. Depth to Bedrock
Depth to bed rock / Weathered thickness Poly
d. Saturated thickness
Pre-Monsoon Poly
Post Monsoon Poly
Average Poly
e. Grid Deviation Water Table
Recharge areas Poly
Discharge areas Poly
f. Ground water quality  
Physical Poly
Chemical Poly
Biological Poly

Non-spatial data in gWIS
Non-spatial data for any ground water study should be very much important and it normally helps to understand the system thoroughly with lot of historic data from meteorology, waterlevel, water quality etc. The amount of data for this analysis is very important. This software enable you to store/update/and modify the data with a very user-friendly interfaces.

Customised database have been designed for the data entry for the following areas:

  1. Basic Information of the study area
  2. Comprehensive meteorological database
  3. Water level database
  4. Water quality database
  5. Resistivity survey database
  6. Pumptest survey database
  7. Well inventory database
  8. Borehole database

Rainfall locations Map

Electrical Conductivity Map

Premonsoon water level fluctuation map

Postmonsoon water level fluctuaton map

The following pictures shows some of the datasheet were by the user enter the field data through the customised screen. These were created by utilising the hard copy formats generally used in government and non-governemnt organisations in India.

Pump test Drawdown data sheet

Following the philosophy that a picture is worth a thousand words, gWIS emphasizes graphics on screen and printed in: maps logs, cross-sections, hydrographs, and various chemical diagrams as shown in the pictures. Major functionalities of this particular software is as follows:

  • Numerical and Graphical Analysis of Water Quality
  • Browsing through tree structure to make more user friendly
  • Complete analytical capabilities in all areas.
  • Report Generation through Wizard
  • Geostatistical analysis capability
  • Linking of map and tables
  • Graphical tool for the better representation of various parameters.
  • Customized administrative hierarchy.
  • Different levels of data storage viz., river basin, watershed, district, taluk, panchayat etc.
  • Complete water classification techniques for various needs.
  • Complete borehole and well designing tools
  • Graph generation through Vizard
  • Fence diagram and penetration diagram preparation
  • VES Data analysis using Schlumberger and Wenner methods
  • Drawdown and Recovery pumptest data analysis using various methods
  • Trend analysis of water level and rainfall
  • Complete well inventory details to analysis the density and growth of wells.
  • Complete Basic Information on different study areas
  • Drainage morphometry studies to understand the surface drainage characteristics.
  • Arc-Info and Map Info spatial data compatibility
  • Integration with any GIS software for Spatial data management
  • Oracle and Access for data storage.

Some of the graphical representation/analytical outputs were given below:

Handa’s Classification

USSL Classification

Gibb’s Classification

General Pie chart

This software enables you to organize the different aspects of ground water related data viz. hydrological, lithological, meteorological, hydrochemical, geophysical, well inventory, Pumptest etc.. both spatially and non spatially. An easy to use groundwater data management and analysis software that includes everything you need to comprehensively manage and present groundwater related information.