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The goal of engineering-based watershed modeling is to predict the hydrologic response of a particular watershed to historical and/or synthetic rainfall events. Watershed models are often used as planning tools for flood control studies and for regulatory decision-making. Because a wide variety of engineering hydrologic models are commonly used, often within a single regulatory jurisdiction or political boundary, data management can be a daunting task for the watershed manager. Use of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) for watershed studies promotes the use of standard formats for the graphic representation, storage, and retrieval of watershed information, including flood study results.

Rapid advances in GIS over the past decade have led to the increased usage of existing spatial data sets, or “coverages” (i.e. soil cover, land usage, and topography) as input into engineering-based hydrologic modeling. This is known as creating a “linkage” between a GIS and a hydrologic model. In addition to the simple one-way linkage often employed, it is advantageous to create a two-way linkage, whereby the computer modeling software provides input into the GIS. This allows the complete model input and output data set to be viewed entirely within the GIS platform, including hydraulic model information obtained from comprehensive ground surveys and other sources, as well as model results. This system provides for a fully linked engineering data management system that can promote the exchange of information in a readily usable format.

In this paper, the development and the application of a fully linked GIS-based data management system is presented for the graphic representation, storage, and retrieval of engineering data for the Stevenson Creek Watershed in the City of Clearwater, Pinellas County, Florida. GIS data in ESRI's Arc View3.2 is linked with AdICPR hydraulic model data in a graphical user interface. This information is also presented on a web site for public and watershed managers use.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2002-01-01

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