International Journal of
Computer Engineering Research

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. Comput. Eng. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-6494
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJCER
  • Start Year: 2010
  • Published Articles: 28

Full Length Research Paper

An open source Geographic Information System (GIS) approach to water supply management, distribution and billing

David Ndegwa Kuria
  • David Ndegwa Kuria
  • Department of Geomatic Engineering and Geospatial Information Science, Kimathi University College of Technology, Nyeri, Kenya.
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Douglas Engoke Musiega
  • Douglas Engoke Musiega
  • Department of Geomatic Engineering and Geospatial Information Systems, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Nairobi, Kenya.
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Moses Murimi Ngigi
  • Moses Murimi Ngigi
  • Department of Geomatic Engineering and Geospatial Information Systems, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Nairobi, Kenya.
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Simon Kibue Ngugi
  • Simon Kibue Ngugi
  • Department of Geomatic Engineering and Geospatial Information Systems, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Nairobi, Kenya.
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  •  Accepted: 12 November 2012
  •  Published: 30 November 2012

Abstract

 

In this work a comprehensive solution for the Gatanga Water Trust (GWT) has been developed to assist it in managing its water supply and distribution. The solution comprises two subcomponents: a mapping component and a billing component which are tightly coupled together. The proposed system uses stable open source products for the mapping component and the database. At present the GWT uses outdated maps and sketches for design and installation of a new water supply infrastructure. A billing system is in place which is used to manage client accounts, record meter readings, prepare bills and record payments made. This presents a somewhat disjointed approach to management of the water supply and its attendant infrastructure. The database that stores the account information is very different (softcopy) from that storing the spatial information (hardcopy/paper based). In the proposed solution, a single database is used, centralized or distributed. The mapping component provides an interface through which preliminary design of new and planned infrastructure can be done. After installation, these are reflected in the database and the information becomes available as soon as it is stored. The billing component uses the same database to manage account information. Since the information is managed in one system, there is a streamlined and orderly flow from data collection to the final products from the system. The proposed solution leverages advancement in technology by providing two approaches - a desktop application for users within the Trust's intranet and a web mapping application for users utilizing the wider internet.

 

Key words: Open source, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), water supply, billing, distribution.