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A GIS Analyst’s Take on Water Sage

1/6/2017 | ANDREW BRACHMAN

A GIS Analyst’s Take on Water Sage

As a GIS analyst for the past 5 years, I was so excited to see the first version of Water Sage completed. What an amazing combination of spatial layers.  The layer manager is full of geospatial datasets—water right data, governmental boundaries, hydrography layers, and new in-house interpolated layers.  The amount of geospatial and non-spatial information has only increased with the new versions of Water Sage.

Water SageWith Water Sage collecting, cleaning and organizing so much water-specific spatial information, I am freed up to spend more of my time analyzing the data.  For example, water rights are nearly impossible to find and collect due to the numerous number of governmental agencies that provide only portions of data.  Collecting from multiple sources produces duplicates that must be sifted through.  With Water Sage, I no longer waste so much time working through varying datasets.  Since water rights make up a very dynamic dataset, it is not as simple as collecting the dataset and processing once.  A system that can update a single water right with no effort on my end is nice and saves me half a day of work.  A system like Water Sage that updates all water rights in a state is amazing!  When dealing with water rights, there is no better software to find and narrow down an area of interest.

Water Sage has become so versatile that my normal workflow has changed to the point that I now use the application for all my initial analysis.  From the advanced search capabilities to the numerous spatial layers, a lot can be interpreted.  Normally, just wading through what water rights were pertinent called for GIS analysis.  An example such as determining locations of all water rights that were upstream usually required visual inspection due to the lack of a stream network and a way to accurately assign a water right to a stream.  Now, with the ability to see what is upstream and downstream of a water right with a simple click, I can once again spend my time on more advanced examination of the data.  When there is need for advanced GIS analysis or the creation of professional maps, Water Sage offers the option to export the water rights to either KML or ESRI Shapefile.

Whether I am looking for a quick and easy way to view water rights or complete advanced GIS functions, Water Sage is always in my workflow.