Enterprise GIS Enables Improved Natural Disaster Response
Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) distributes natural gas to about six million customers. Its service area has experienced a variety of natural disasters. Responding better to future natural disasters was one of the drivers leading SoCalGas to implement enterprise geographic information system (GIS) technology. An enterprise GIS supports all functional areas and roles. It also supports sharing and collaboration. The new enterprise GIS proved its worth during a natural disaster that occurred shortly after implementation.
Safety is the top priority and core value of SoCalGas. Its large customer base depends on safe, reliable natural gas service. Shortly after implementing enterprise GIS, a natural disaster occurred. First, one of the largest wildfires in modern California history scorched the earth in Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties. Then, torrential rains hit and caused mudslides to slam the town of Montecito. The mudslides caused 21 confirmed deaths and impacted over 500 structures.
Emergency responders need ready access to a broad range of data. Real-time data is most valuable. Before implementing enterprise GIS, data was stored in disparate databases and on paper. Combining this disparate data on a common geographic basis took time and effort. It was not always possible for all involved to access the same, current data.
Electric and Gas
User: Southern California Gas Company is a natural gas distribution utility headquartered in Los Angeles.
Challenge: The utility needed a better way to connect its authoritative data and data from other sources on a common geographic basis and securely share that integrated data in real time with all authorized users.
Solution: SoCalGas chose Esri for its industry-leading ArcGIS platform.
Results: Damaged gas lines were secured in record time. The entire restoration operation took 28 days—much less time than in the past. Potential disasters were avoided and residents were kept safe.
SoCalGas decided to implement an enterprise GIS. The utility adopted the full ArcGIS platform: ArcGIS Enterprise, ArcGIS Pro, and other components. SoCalGas implemented Utility and Pipeline Data Model (UPDM) to simplify the multiple GIS gas data models that existed within the company. Leveraging the ArcGIS Pipeline Referencing and ArcGIS Utility Network Management extensions in a single GIS model allows the organization to more easily address compliance requirements, verify safety, validate data integrity, and meet operational needs.
In addition to supporting a unified system of record for all assets, from the wellhead to the customer meter, ArcGIS makes it easy to connect that authoritative data and data from other sources on a common geographic basis. All this integrated data can be securely shared in real time with all authorized users.
SoCalGas knows that mudslides can unearth pipes, which can cause leaks, fires, or explosions. So when alerted of a critical disruption in the Montecito area, staff acted immediately, using their newly implemented enterprise GIS capabilities.
Armed with ArcGIS, recovery efforts in Montecito advanced with remarkable efficiency. With data from all agencies on one map, crews got to the structures and people most in need much more quickly. Damaged gas lines were secured, and pathways were rerouted in record time. The entire operation to restore service to all residents took only 28 days, which was much quicker than had previously been possible. Potential disasters were avoided and residents were kept safe.
"The top advantage of having enterprise GIS is taking not just geographic data, but taking different departmental information and bringing it onto one platform. Having the enterprise platform helps us integrate that information, run models, run reports, and to make good decisions." Jimmie Cho, Chief Operating Officer, Southern California Gas Company