You are on page 1of 20

1

Spatial Information in Hydrology and
Water Management
Josef Fürst
2
Learning objectives
 In this section you will learn:
• Overview of commonalities in GIS technology and
hydrology to motivate for GIS use in hydrology and
water management.
• Basic understanding of modelling with spatial
information
• Overview of properties of spatial information in
hydrology and water management
3
Outline
 Introduction
 Motivation
 Data and information
 Problems
 Summary

4
Introduction
 Establish a relationship between problems in water
resources and the capabilities of GIS by comparison
of terms and schematic figures
 Discrimination between „Data“ and „Information“
 Characterisation of hydrological information
5
Motivation
 Concordance between tasks in hydrology and water
management and functionality of GIS technology
Hydrology and water
management
GIS
The scientific study of the
properties, distribution, and
effects of water on the earth's
surface, in the soil and
underlying rocks, and in the
atmosphere
GIS is a system of hardware
and software used for storage,
retrieval, mapping, and
analysis of geographic data,
… which references a
particular place on the earth
6
Schematic illustration of the hydrologic cycle
In a text book of hydrology
(Bras, 1990):
The „world“ in GIS (ESRI,
1998):
Motivation
 Concordance between tasks in hydrology and water
management and functionality of GIS technology

7
Hydrologisches Modell SHE (Bathurst &
O’Connell, 1992):
GIS-Überlagerung (Vieux, 1992):



Motivation
 Concordance between tasks in hydrology and water
management and functionality of GIS technology
8
Data and information
 Data
9
Data and information
 Data + Knowledge
10
Data and information
 Data + Knowledge = Information
Danube
11
Data and information
 Data










 ???
  part of ASCII Grid File
12
Data and information
 Header Information




 Technical hints on format, resolution, georeference
 ??? What is it actually???
13
Data and Information
 Metadata
14
Data and Information
 GIS map display
15
Data and Information
 Cartography
16
Data and information
 Data + Knowledge = Information
• E.g.: a sequence of coordinates describes a polyline (=
data). Knowing that this polyline represents a reach of a
river, creates knowledge of it.
• The model concept determines data requirements
• e.g: the unit hydrograph contains information about the
catchment‘s reaction to rainfall, which depends on
shape, size, height, vegetation, geology, slopes, etc.,
without having to know these factor zu develop the UH
 it is a„model of the catchment“ and has a spatial
reference
• Models with distributed parameters use a spatially
distributed characterisation of catchment properties
17
Data and information
Information
Hydrol. time
series
River
network
Land cover Terrain Hydro-
geology
Geometry
points lines, 2D, 3D areas
(polygons)
3D surface bodies,
volumes
Acquisition
point related,
time
dependent
ground
survey,
remote
sensing,
derived from
DEM
ground
survey, RS,
regionalisatio
n from point
and line
samples
ground
survey,
photogramme
try, RS, GPS,

boreholes,
geophysics,

Presentation
hydrographs,
maps of
monitoring
networks
maps,
longitudinal
profiles, cross
sections, …
maps, areal
statistics, …
3D, contours,
raster maps,
hillshading,
hypsometric
curve
raster maps,
contours,
profiles,
pseudo-3D,
fence
diagrams
Properties of spatial information in hydrology and water
resources
18
Data and information
Information
Hydrol. time
series
River
network
Land cover Terrain Hydro-
geology
Model
application
Runoff,
groundwater,
flood
statistics
Hydraulics,
flood routing,
P-R, ecology,
limnology
Soil erosion,
evapotranspir
ation, GW
recharge
Distributed
H.M.,
synthetic
drainage
network, soil
erosion, …
Groundwater,
soils, river
basin models,

Attributes
Quantity,
quality,
thresholds,

Discharge,
quality, ecol.
State, use, …
Nominal,
ordinal,
cardinal
scales, …
Terrain
elevation
Soil type,
geological
strata,
conductivity,
porosity, …
Topology
Neighbour-
hood, spatio-
temporal
interpolation
Strahler order,
administrative
order,
catchment, …
Neighbour-
hood,
thematic
overlays, …
Aspect,
slope, flow
accumulation,

Geological
sequence, …
Properties of spatial information in hydrology and water
resources
19
Problems
 Water resources management
• Goal-oriented order of human impacts on surface and
subsurface water. Compensation of conflicts between
natural water supply and anthropogenic demands
• Uses and functions
• Domestic and industrial water supply, cooling water,
irrigation, flood protection, hydro power, navigation, water
quality, including sewage treatment and low flow
regulation, recreation, fishing, drainage, erosion,
sedimentation
• Protection and enhancement
• Natural water bodies, archeological, historical, biological
and geological resources, eco-systems, quality of water,
land and air.
 GIS supports inter-disciplinarity
20
Summary
 Many developments in GIS technology originate from
environmental and natural sciences  use of GIS in
hydrology and water management natural
 Hydrologic models are based on information about
the area, for which hydrologic processes are to be
described. The model concept determines, in which
form the area characteristics are to be made available
 important hydrologic information: Time series,
drainage network, land use, elevation model,
hydrogeology.
 Spatial hydrologic information is basis for water
management planning, both for use and protection of
water resources and the environment