Establishment of a Centralized Enterprise GIS Utility System
The Water Supply and Sewage Authority (WSSA) is a nonprofit organization and service provider. WSSA is responsible for 190,000 inhabitants of 14 localities in Bethlehem Governorate, Palestine, with a customer base of 15,000 drinking water connections. WSSA required a comprehensive solution to improve access to data, sustainable water, and wastewater services; optimize the use of water; increase available quantity for distribution; and meet demand. Good Shepherd Engineering (GSE) Palestine was chosen to integrate WSSA's works within one portal, centralizing an enterprise geographic information system (GIS) utility system.
WSSA data was scattered throughout many places within all departments and in many formats for engineering and customer base data. Employees spent too much time trying to extract and gather data from the Engineering, Finance, Customer Service, and technical departments. All the work was done manually or was semiautomated and required much time to extract and prepare work orders and create reports. Strategic objectives were not based on geospatial needs and requirements but on what the manager had on his priority list. The network was not defined in one place, and there was no connection between departments. This resulted in work being completed independently, creating confusion and incurring high costs.
GSE Palestine is based in Beit Jala Bethlehem Region (Nativity of Christ) and has been an Esri partner since 1993. GSE supplies location-based enterprise technology solutions that push GIS boundaries and assist organizations to make better business decisions, meet a strategic framework to improve sustainable services, and optimize workflows.
"By leveraging the existing ArcGIS Enterprise portal, we were able to quickly implement a solution that has become a game changer. Staff are now able to quickly access information that improves our ability to optimize the use of water and increase water quantity for distribution and to meet demand." — Michael Younan, Engineer and CEO of Good Shepherd Engineering Palestine
Based on WSSA needs, terms of reference, and GSE's capabilities, the GSE team chose to establish a centralized enterprise GIS utility system in which to integrate all data. ArcGIS Solutions for Water was used to help define the system. The major selling point of a centralized GIS and Esri water solution deployment within the ArcGIS Enterprise portal was that it provided an intuitive, all-inclusive data bank for the authority to create comprehensive mapping, analytics, and reporting. ArcGIS platform system architecture gives the ability to seamlessly integrate maps, applications, and web services, providing WSSA with an expandable solution. The power of an integrated ArcGIS platform is that the web-based solutions leverage existing customers, employees, and GIS mapping to distribute information in departments and fulfill needs.
WSSA estimates that the ArcGIS platform saved hundreds of hours that staff would normally spend searching for data. It eliminated the lag time of information between the office and the field, reducing transactions that previously may have taken 14 days to less than a day. Today all data is centralized in the ArcGIS Enterprise portal and GSE web application solution. All updates are made live in one place. All data is now in one location and is identified and documented. WSSA integrated the customer service and financial systems and can keep all customers updated without duplication of names. Communications between departments improved after sharing data across the organization. Nontechnical staff use the system and add their experience and work, keeping the system updated and contributing to a well-defined water network. The system has also revealed that 15 percent of accounts were outstanding and lost. Identifying these accounts resulted in more income from dead transactions.
"ArcGIS has enabled us to meet our strategic goal to improve access to data and services. The centralized platform connects Administration, Finance, Engineering, Customer Service, and Field staff. It also integrates our Hydraulic model and SCADA, providing access to updated and accurate water system information." - Michael Younan, Engineer and CEO of Good Shepherd Engineering Palestine
ArcGIS Solutions for Water Utilities provided WSSA with analytical tools for leak detection and non-revenue water. It helped to detect point leakages and provided accurate quantity losses monthly. Losses were not properly measured previously. The solutions saved effort, time and money. ArcGIS enabled WSSA to plan equitable water distribution programs in all pressure zones from the limited monthly water supply allocated to WSSA, and helps manage the water distribution plan more efficiently.