Home Articles Water Quality Mapping with GPS and GIS in Indian States

Water Quality Mapping with GPS and GIS in Indian States

On-click information and water source

As India’s water quality crisis deepens, it is necessary to map water quality and provide relief to the affected areas

Providing stable freshwater is the most pressing of the many environmental challenges on India’s national horizon. Multiple influence peddlers like population explosion, rapid urbanization, industrialization and agricultural development are putting stress on water resources. This has resulted in high impact on quality and quantity of water in the country. Summer and rainy seasons witness the eruption of water-borne diseases, such as, cholera, gastroenteritis and diarrhoea due to poor quality of drinking water and sanitation.

Looking at the seriousness of the issue, government authorities sought to map the water quality in rural regions and take counter-measures to provide relief to affected areas of respective states. Public Health Engineering Department (PHED) from MP and Chhattisgarh, State Water and Sanitation Mission (SWSM) from Uttar Pradesh and Water and Sanitation Support Organization (WSSO) at Maharashtra drove the mission. The tender for Water Quality Mapping Projects was bagged by ADCC Infocad Ltd. Thus, the GIS & Engineering services solutions provider was engaged to map the quality of water.

What was desired

The mandate was to determine the quality of water in its natural state and assess the impact of activities of human being upon quality of water; also, to compare the observed chemical parameters with BIS 10500:2012 (previously BIS 10500:1991). ADCC also aimed at identifying the contaminated surface sources. It intended at obtaining valid, reliable and credible data of water quality as a whole and in further course, the corrective measures to ensure safe and quality water supply to rural India.

Field test kit analysis of water samples

The approach

It included the testing of drinking water samples using laboratory setup and analysis through titrimetric methods in CG, MP and Maharashtra. Whereas the department at Uttar Pradesh provided handy Field Test Kits (FTK) that enabled spot assessment of contamination status. Further, the susceptible samples are retested by Uttar Pradesh Jal Nigam State Research Laboratory for confirmation and necessary actions.
After finishing for 8 districts of Madhya Pradesh, 1 from Chhattisgarh and first phase of 15 at Uttar Pradesh, the activities are going on for second phase of Uttar Pradesh as well as entire Maharashtra state.

High workforce management involved while proceeding through sampling, tagging and transportation within timeframe. This also included analysis and integration of field database. Developing Decision Support System through Web GIS application intended data retrieval and MIS analysis for the authorities. From the initiation day itself, ADCC strategically planned the field visits and fixed the daily schedule. Mapping and unique identification as well as transportation planning using GIS-based customized real time
monitoring tools eased down the time-bound water analysis and data management for numerous samples.

Following guidelines

ADCC followed all the guidelines laid by Indian Standard (IS 10500:2012) for sampling, transportation and analysis of water quality mapping. The mapping activity took place in Autodesk Map software, similarly data integration in ESRI ArcGIS software to produce thematic maps. GPS mapping was done for 108,000 drinking water sources for Madhya Pradesh, 207, 714 sources for Chhattisgarh, and 2,200,000 sources (and counting) for Uttar Pradesh, the same estimated to be 300,000 across Maharashtra. Unique id-based sources were snapped and recorded geographically in the latitude-longitude format using GPS handhelds along with asset mapping in Maharashtra. The DSS development took place using Open Source Spatial Server.

GIS integration helped in understanding the location-based details of water contamination. Water quality maps prepared in GIS, together with sanitation data, assisted in understanding the priority area for water treatment and drinking water quality monitoring for the future. These maps also aided in identifying certain contaminated locations immediately and actions to be taken by the department officials. ADCC facilitated Water Quality Management (WQM), sanitation data updation and digital photo collection using Trimble’s GPS-based applications. WQM database was published on a Web portal (SQL Server) after being verified by the department.


Courtesy: ADCC Infocad Ltd.