Azerbaijan, the largest country in the Caucasus region, and, due to increasing oil revenues, has one of the fastest growing economies in the world. As such, the country was able to make substantial investments in their infrastructure. This two part article, written by Dr. Deniz Aydin of ODAKENT and Samir Ganili of Azersu, provides an in-depth look into the Azersu GIS project that is being developed to support the expansion of the water resources of Azerbaijan.
About Azerbaijan, Azersu OJSC and the AzersuCIS(GIS) Project
The Republic of Azerbaijan is the largest country in the Caucasus region located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe. It is bounded by the Caspian Sea to the east, Russia to the north, Georgia to the northwest, Armenia to the west and Iran to the south. The gross domestic product (GDP) growth rates observed in Azerbaijan during last few years made the country one of the fastest growing economies in the world.
Azersu OJSC is an organization in charge of state policy and strategy in the field of water supply, drinking water supply and sanitation services to consumers in a centralized manner. The Company makes necessary arrangements for the extraction of water from sources followed by treatment, transportation and sales. It also takes necessary actions for wastewater treatment. The Company engages in design, construction, operation and maintenance of intake structures, reservoirs, pumping stations, water pipelines and sewer collectors. Azersu OJSC supplies drinking water to 1.06 million subscribers across the country.
Since 2011, an important stage of restructuring the infrastructure system started to be carried out. Taking into consideration the entry of big oil revenues in the country, Azersu was ready to effectively transfer their financial resources to the strategic goals. As such, an infrastructure development strategy was initiated for the period 2011–2015. Far-reaching works of the infrastructure sector were conducted in the country. The main challenges were absence of enough experienced engineering staff and firms in design, operation and construction. In addition, associated with the broadening geographic distribution of projects and employees were an increasing number of non-Azersu entities. These included contractors, partners, suppliers and customers there were participating on integrated project teams. The result was a growing concern about security, confidentiality and data integrity.
Before water, wastewater and stormwater infrastructure renovation and reconstruction works were started, large projects such as the Master Plan, SCADA and GIS development projects were launched.
At present, projects are being implemented for reconstruction of water supply and sewerage systems in urban and rural areas of the Republic of Azerbaijan. After completion of the projects, Azersu needed to gather and store infrastructure data in a GIS system for better operation and maintenance of the system. For this purpose, the AzersuCIS project was launched. The GIS project was also planned as a main collaboration platform for the Master Plan, SCADA and the other IT systems.
The environmental and community impact
Additionally, once data input into AzersuCIS is accomplished, users can use these data in modeling or analyzing, reporting, in data warehouse projects, web publishing etc. without data conversion. This means the system gives you better decision support and it creates customer satisfaction.
Project goals and how they were achieved
The primary goal of the project was to be able to manage the entire infrastructure of Azerbaijan effectively and securely. The main goals of the AzersuCIS project are given below:
Practical and fast data input and update interfaces are vital and have a successful history for GIS systems. The AzersuCIS project was developed with this in mind and includes a data production and update system, which is powerful, flexible, modular, easy to use and easily managed.
AzersuCIS will give users the opportunity to take inventories related to the present infrastructure and superstructure assets, to estimate used systems, and to control cost performances feasibly. Having easy access to infrastructure and superstructure information will reduce time lost and labor costs as well as improper planning and investments. The expectation is that it will afford better cost optimization.
The AzersuCIS project is transparent and constantly in use, which will make the system open to all users with specified authorities rather than limiting users in a confined environment. This reform will make information available for all institutions and authorities using a common platform by converting limited users to a more open environment.
Fast access to data will increase efficiency and performance and maintain a high quality of service to users by allowing access to information to those who are subscribers and in direct contact with other users.
Figure 3 (click for larger image)