Case Study Of A Southern California Water District
Geospatial Information Integration Solution for a Southern California Water District
A Southern California water district with approximately 50,000 plus residences, many of which are on wells or septic systems. The District has approximately 10,000 water consumers and 8,000 sewer consumers. Managing these assets and the associated documentation has proven to be a challenge for our small organization with a tight budget. We are composed of 30 water and waste-water operations staff. 2 engineering staff, 2 fire staff and 14 admin, Customer service, HR and general office staff. We are small with a tight budget so we need all the help available. We are also lacking clerical, data entry and support staff for operations. But this was not our only struggle, we had some tools to help us along the way with our information and management operations.
Alice Benson, Waste-water Operations Manager (retired)
“USA Imaging Inc. (USAI) has brought us something fresh and in turn has made me passionate towards their efforts surrounding the project. I am the Waste water operations manager at a small California Water District and the project manager of our enterprise GIS project. As of 2009 we have been using the Enterprise Data Window framework at the district for about 3 year now and we are astounded and most importantly happy with the results.”
Here is What the District Was Working With:
"We had GIS software and two document manger applications, one for small document and another for large documents. This configuration functioned less as a fix or solution and more like a band-aid with no path to completion or improvement. Both document management systems were inflexible and either obfuscate the names and locations of the documents so we could only retrieve documents through the vendors software or it was built around dozens of dBase files scattered across the file system with no chance of being maintainable. With the limited input functionality we were always behind, in addition to these facts both document managers had a complex retrieval user interface that wasted time. We dealt with a per-user license that left the program available to only a few staff members. Our operations and engineering asset management software was just as inflexible and again with its per-user license contract use was again very restricted. The mapping was engineering only and had limited input and was always out of date. Mapping data required programs such as ESRI and Crystal Reports along with licenses that created hidden additional costs and again only left access to a few trained staff. We had many problems with our past system that left us thinking about what we want. What would be ideal for us? "
Our Visions for an Enterprise GIS & EDMS:
"We wanted a system, not just a program that is easy to use, maintain and not restricted to what our budget can afford, and we need it to be available to all District staff. We want there to be consistent real time or near real time information that maximizes the use of externally provided data. Of course we want it to save us money, something that can spread cost over time. We want a business driven software, something that can change as our needs change, not a software driven business where we are the one that must be malleable to its restrictions. Then we began to think about how we would approach an attempt at our own ideal. We wanted an in house GIS developer for graphics and database development. Our Technical staff would be experts in their subject matter. The Data owners would be the ones to add and correct the data and we would use External programming support to augment staff efforts to develop document management and work order elements. When we found USA Imaging Inc., we found it accomplished these needs with a few system components that are key."
Our Key Components:
It starts with the Enterprise Data Window, where our searches are made and our information is found. Built into this is the Document Manager fulfilling our indexing needs. The Application manager provides the framework for application development. ETL and Maintenance is a simple method for in-house data movement. And the work order system provides documentation of work performed and analysis tools.
Document Management Issues at a Glance:
1. Restrictive document management programs.
2. Small and large documents are in separate systems.
3. Vendor's obfuscate the document's physical location and