Maps. Who needs them? Why don't we have them? Where can we
get new maps made? How much will it cost? Our original maps are not correct? Why
will our engineer not give us the maps we paid them to make?
These are the typical questions that cities and rural water districts have been asking for decades. Now newer technology holds promise of giving local utilities better options. These will be options that local systems can choose and make sure they -- the systems -- maintain control of their maps.
In November 2001, KRWA was awarded a demonstration contract through the Kansas Corporation Commission in conjunction with the Kansas Water Office, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, to provide resources to help local water systems gain access to methods to improve their utility mapping and map products. These new methods would employ Global Positioning System (GPS) technology.
KRWA has worked to develop this new program since early 2002. A variety of hardware and software options have been tested. The principal guideline utilized to regulate the process of developing the mapping technology and providing the technology to local systems was that it must be affordable and user friendly.
The priorities for the KRWA GPS mapping program are:
to provide improved notice of utilities to the Kansas One-Call Center
to provide more accurate map products of water and/or wastewater utilities
to provide methods that systems can learn to utilize these technologies
to provide methods and options to utilities allowing access to update utility maps as necessary
to allow the city or RWD to have complete control of their mapping products.
In other words, if you want to change engineers, you are no longer married to the folks who "have your maps" and data. KRWA will provide your data to you on a CD that you can hand to anyone. They don't need to spend time recreating the product. KRWA also maintains files in several locations for safekeeping.