Using A GIS Based Model to Create a Water Transport Network: A Case Study of The Six Nations of the Grand River Indigenous Community
The goal of this report is to demonstrate how a GIS based model may be a viable tool in determining the most efficient way to distribute fresh drinking water throughout a community. The report uses Six Nations of the Grand River as a case study, as the community is currently evaluating their options to connect residents to a newly-built water treatment plant. This hypothetical network would connect all residents to fresh drinking water, either via pipeline or by a truck-cistern network. The model is an excellent tool in evaluating this problem due to their spatial problem-solving capabilities. This method is also beneficial to communities because it allows for multiple scenarios to be produced and easily visualized. In this example, the model abides by four budgetary constraints: all of which are based on different scenarios of community funding for the project.
The model utilizes a spatial clustering algorithm to categorize all disconnected points into multiple groups where they can then be used as water delivery points in transportation networks. Once these hypothetical networks are created, the cost of each network is calculated by multiplying the determined cost per meter by its length. The model uses this cost for each network and sorts them based on a cost-benefit value measuring their efficiency. This sorted list is used to determine which networks can be constructed within the budget, ultimately deciding which networks are to be pipeline networks and which are to be truck-cistern networks for each budgetary scenario. This method ensures the most efficient networks are connected to the treament plant via pipeline, which is the preferred method of delivery.
The outputs from the model prove that all homes within the Six Nations community can be connected to the water treatment plant through a combination of pipeline and truck-cistern routes, all within the proposed budgets. These networks are easily displayed on maps as pipeline locations and truck routes, allowing shareholders to make informed decisions on infrastructure development.
It should also be stated that this study applies the methods presented to the Six Nations of the Grand River as a case study, and that this GIS based technique should be viewed as one tool that could be applied to any similar situation. Any actual solution must include extensive consultation and cooperation with the local community, which is beyond the scope of this project.