Book: GIS Tools ...

GIS Tools for Water, Wastewater, and Stormwater Systems

By Uzair M. "Sam" Shamsi, PhD, PE


Data and software are the two most important tools for developing GIS applications. GIS Tools for Water, Wastewater, and Stormwater Systems presents a step-by-step approach covering GIS application case studies, examples, and costs associated with hardware, software, data conversion, and implementation. It addresses a broad range of GIS issues, from basic definitions to specific applications, teaching how to utilize GIS tools and implement them in a practical and cost-effective manner in the fields of water, wastewater, and stormwater management. Written in textbook format with stylistic focus on the inductive presentation of examples before principles, this book provides state-of-the-art information about the tools required to develop GIS applications for water, wastewater, and stormwater systems. This book is geared for any professional involved in the management and operation of water, wastewater, and stormwater systems, as well as civil and environmental project engineers and project managers. With a substantial amount of pictures, diagrams, graphs, and illustrations, this book is also suitable for use in the classroom. Each chapter begins with learning objectives, and ends with a chapter summary and practice problems that can be used as assignments for the student.

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John Lucey, P.E.

Executive Vice President & General Manager, USFilter Engineering & Construction

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

This book is a “must read” for anyone involved in implementing a GIS for a water or wastewater utility. Being the first published reference book on this topic, it would be a valuable addition to your reference library. I like the "cookbook" style of the book which is quite appropriate for utility professionals. The book is filled with numerous examples of GIS applications in the water industry that are both current and practical. The extensive listings of GIS data, software, and the Internet resources will help you to build the right kind of GIS for your system.

Robert A. Rosamond

Manager, Marketing Promotions, American Water Works Association (AWWA)

Denver, Colorado

Clearly, GIS is useful for water and wastewater systems. Where does one begin to design and implement GIS? What GIS packages are available? What data is required? You'll get all of your GIS questions answered in U.M. Shamsi's GIS Tools for Water, wastewater, and Stormwater Systems, now available from American Water Works Association, The Authoritative Resource for Safe Drinking Water. This is the first book on GIS for water and wastewater systems.

The book presents a step-by-step approach covering GIS applications, case studies, examples, and costs associated with hardware, software, data conversion, and implementation. A broad range of GIS issues are covered, from basic definitions to specific applications. It shows how to use GIS tools in a practical and cost-effective manner.

This text is suitable for use in the classroom. Each chapter begins with learning objectives and ends with a summary and practice problems that can be used as assignments for the student.

Don Waye

Senior Water Resources Planner, Northern Virginia Regional Commission

An ambitious undertaking, at once academic and practical, this book provides a jumping-off point for anyone interested in integrating water systems modeling with GIS. This is the first authoritative book that has attempted to make sense of the sprawling technological advances in managing water systems information. Dr. Shamsi has provided a well-organized overview of the range of possibilities for integrating these fields, and offers disparate, in-depth examples and case studies on how to get it done. Comprehensive listings of water-related GIS resources, both in the public domain and private sector, along with references, a glossary, and acronym guide should help ensure a well-thumbed place on the shelves of engineers and modelers attempting to navigate this information management frontier.


Orlando, Florida

Arguably, this is the best introductory GIS and water, wastewater, stormwater book around. The material is very readable and well organized, making the book an excellent foundation for additional detailed study. The selection and organization of topics, style of presentation, emphasis and writing are excellent. Examples to reinforce concepts are also provided. For example, GIS data and software examples are presented before their applications and GIS case studies are presented before the methods are explained.

This book provides a wealth of information and resources. In addition to the examples and practical case studies, the book also provides links to web sites that offer articles, tutorials and more samples, as well as organizations that have an interest in all aspects of the GIS and water resources and water distribution networks. The book also includes an introduction to Internet GIS, GeoSpatial database tools for water resources, integration of hydrologic and hydraulic models with GIS, and several other resources. For anyone who wants a solid introduction to these topics, these chapters are a must read.

This book provides exhaustive coverage of everything you need to know in order to master the GIS applications for water related fields. The book is designed for readers of all levels from experienced GIS users to those with little or no GIS experience. It does so by providing beginners with basic underlying GIS topics, while at the same time offering experienced GIS developers detailed and exhaustive coverage of the GIS tools for water, wastewater and stormwater systems.

By simply flipping through the pages of this book, it becomes evident that an enormous amount of time and effort went into it. It offers the same high quality and detailed coverage that you would find in most college level academic books. In fact, this book is written using the recommendations of the Accreditation of the American Board of Engineering and Technology (ABET) and ASCE's Excellence in Civil Engineering program.

The book is so diverse to cover many topics and yet all written comprehensively for each topics. You get real-world experience with the tools and case studies presented in this book, such that you might use in a job somewhere.

I recommend this book to any water professional or civil engineer that deals with everyday GIS. An excellent job of expository writing and worth every nickel you pay for it.

Book News, Inc. ®

Portland, Oregon

Documents the geographic information system (GIS) data and software tools that are appropriate for developing GIS applications for water utilities. The author compares the GIS software packages available, identifies internet sources of public domain GIS data, outlines the design of a GIS database, and demonstrates the mapping capabilities of GIS. The book's non-technical approach and end-of-chapter questions make it suitable for adaptation to an undergraduate textbook.

Wave, USFilter, Vol. 2, No. 1, January 2003, Page 5

Palm Desert, California



Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are gaining popularity in creating solutions to needs regarding water and wastewater system and water infrastructure asset management. To assist mayors, city managers and utility directors in this process, Dr. Uzair (Sam) Shamsi of USFilter Engineering & Construction, a national authority on GIS, has just published a book, “GIS Tools for Water, Wastewater and Stormwater Systems.”

“The first reference book ever written on this topic, this is a ‘must read’ for anyone implementing a GIS for a water or wastewater utility,” says John Lucey, executive vice president of USFilter’s Engineering & Construction. “It offers step-by-step approaches on how to use GIS tools and implement them in a practical and cost-effective manner. The book is filled with examples of GIS applications and has extensive listings of GIS data, software and Internet resources.”

Dr. Shamsi, Ph.D., P.E., senior technical manager with E&C, has worked in the GIS field since its infancy in the early ‘80s, and annually gives four GIS seminars across the nation for the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). He also teaches GIS at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Shamsi says, “This book is in response to repeated requests by ACSE seminar attendees and Pitt students. I have poured my experience into making the text interesting and instructive, and hope it will be a significant help to readers.”

Purchase information is on the ACSE Press website,


This page will provide errata and on-line updates for Web site URLs and Software information (version, price, etc.) included in the book. This procedure will always keep your material correct and current. If any updates are necessary, this page will be updated several times a year. Please visit every 3-6 months to check for the most recent updates. I encourage you to E-mail me ( any errors, typos, or updates you have discovered. I will post your updates on this page with your name and company.

    1. September 19, 2002 by Author: Page 206, Change Figure 7-6 title from "PCSWMM GIS: An Example of GIS Based Integration Method" to "PCSWMM GIS: An Example of Model-Based Integration Method"