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ABSTRACT: Accessing State Ground-Water Database and Displaying Geospatial Data Through Innovative GIS/internet Technologies


The main objective of this project was to utilize current GIS/Internet technology to efficiently disseminate hydrological data for the State of Texas to the public. The Texas Water Development Board maintians an INFORMIX relational database (RDB) that contains records for over 118,000 water wells of the estimated 1,000,000 wells statewide. The database also contains detailed information on well location, elevation, depth, well type, owner, aquifer, driller, construction, water-quality, and water-level data. The water quality information includes analyses of major cations and anions and other infrequent constituents. The database contains more than 82,000 total analyses from 47,000 ground-water sites, close to 190,000 infrequent constituents, and 513,000 water levels. In addition to the database, the TWDB maintains USGS 7.5 minute topographic maps with plotted well locations. The database and maps are primarily used by TWDB staff, water districts, and planners to project future water supplies and usage, and by environmental consultants in site assessment/feasibility studies.

A combination of GIS software, Internet software and Visual Basic programing was utilized in developing an application that would function within the agency to serve TWDB staff and outside the agency to distribute information via the World Wide Web (WWW). Visual Basic and ESRI's object-oriented programming language (AVENUE) were utilized to customize a Graphical User Interface that would allow users with little or no experience to easily access the TWDB ground-water database. Water well locations are displayed on detailed base maps. The application allows the query of geospatial and tabular data. Specific searches of the INFORMIX database can also be performed through SQL statements.

TWDB planners, geologists, and field staff currently respond to more than 300 inquiries a month and provide ground-water information in digital or hard-copy format. Given the recent explosion of WWW usage, sharing geospatial data via the an internet/intranet application is a cost-effective solution to providing the public with access to large databases.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90941©1997 GCAGS 47th Annual Meeting, New Orleans, Louisiana