GIS Tech News (#89)

3 Nov, 2009 By: Cadalyst Staff

Indian Utility Taps Modeling Software to Solve Water Crisis

Drinking water flows again to 17 million thanks to quick action and a suite of applications from Bentley Systems.

By Cyrena Respini-Irwin

Cyrena Respini-Irwin Last month, infrastructure solutions provider Bentley Systems welcomed a group of its software users to the Be Inspired: Infrastructure Best Practices Symposium and Awards in Charlotte, North Carolina. The event included keynote addresses and updates about acquisitions and product innovations, but the real draw was the attendees themselves. The finalists of the 2009 Be Inspired Awards gave presentations describing the methods used to execute their projects — and the challenges they encountered along the way.

Creating a digital city map, designing a stadium, or expanding an airport is never a single-dimensional task. Projects on this scale can be complicated by a variety of obstacles: geological, financial, environmental, or even political. Earlier this year, the Water Supply and Sanitation Department of Maharashtra, India — winner of the Innovation in Water, Wastewater, and Stormwater Networks award — faced a water supply problem so severe that it spawned civil unrest in 13 municipalities.

Madhuri Mulay, deputy engineer for the department (known as Maharashtra Jeevan Pradhikaran [MJP]), explained that the problem stemmed from a Supreme Court ruling that restricted the distribution of water from the Krishna River, the main water source for 17 million people in the Mumbai metropolitan area. Although the water restriction was intended to last for only one day per week, the downstream network of pipelines and storage tanks took an unexpectedly long time to refill after the dam was reopened. Some cities did not receive water for an additional 30 hours.

Source of Contention

There is a long history of riparian disputes in the Krishna Basin. The two other states the Krishna passes through on its way to the Bay of Bengal — Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh — are located in deficit basins. "Therefore," said Mulay, "water is most precious in these two states. People in these states are very alert [about] their water share." Read more »
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Cyrena Respini-Irwin is Cadalyst's senior editor.


Mark Your Calendar: GIS Events


Bentley Systems Be Connected Online Seminar Series
Through November 25, 2009
Various times
Be Connected gives architects, engineers, builders, geospatial professionals, and owner-operators a chance to learn about applying information modeling from infrastructure practitioners. Read more

Test Drive ArchiCAD and Learn BIM
Through December 18, 2009
Various cities
This seminar from Graphisoft is designed for those interested in learning about building information modeling (BIM). Read more 

For a complete list of CAD meetings, conferences, training sessions, and more, check out our calendar of events on Are you hosting an event that you would like to include in our calendar? Submit details at least two weeks in advance to


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About the Author: Cadalyst Staff

Cadalyst Staff

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