by MA Cope, SS Pincetl
International Journal of Spatial Data Infrastructures Research 9:36-582014
Although California has made an effort to build spatial data infrastructures incorporating water data, the independent and isolated development of geospatial data has shown inconsistent nomenclatures of water management features and insufficient boundary data in publicly available data sets. A lack of normalized geospatial data standardization and sharing procedures hinders a comprehensive understanding of water use and management information. This paper examines the validity of spatial water management data in Los Angeles, California. To determine ways to develop spatial data standards, the authors vetted the spatial data infrastructure of the California Geoportal and Los Angeles County GIS Data Portal in conjunction with agency housed data sets from the Local Area Formation Commission of Los Angeles County, California Department of Water Resources, and the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. The authors empirically identified and verified the names and number of potable water suppliers to determine the key players in water resource management. After obtaining an accurate list of water suppliers, GIS boundary data were then collected and merged with the supplementary data. The results revealed that the shapefiles of each type did not contain a consistent total number of records, and neither data set maintained the same type of potable water suppliers. This finding suggests the need for a Federal Information Processing Standard requirement for every water management entity. This standard would enable accurate assemblance of data and lead to a greater understanding of the intricacies of local, regional, and statewide water management. California could benefit from these mandated standards as they facilitate data sharing among decentralized water management actors and increase the transparency of water management needs. Finally, recognizing the necessities of water resource management is imperative to adequately address water use in the current conditions of increased population growth and climate change.