GIS-based tool for assessing hydraulic performance of drainage infrastructure system in El Paso

Gema Liliana Camacho, University of Texas at El Paso


Maintaining a city’s storm-water drainage infrastructure system can be an overwhelming effort, especially when data is inaccurate, incomplete, or located in disparate sources. This was the case for the City of El Paso. This research was part of a project funded by the City of El Paso to enhance their GIS storm drainage infrastructure system. For the first task of the project, the GIS software was used to store stormwater drainage data into one convenient GIS file. A GIS framework was created during the first phase of the project. This GIS database contained drainage data (such as location, material, dimensions, capacity, and photo links), inlets, manholes, watersheds, streets, ponds, and basins. This thesis discusses the beginning of a prioritization and maintenance method for the drainage infrastructure system of the City of El Paso that is based on up-to-date inventory and hydraulic performance assessment data. The focus of this thesis was to develop a methodology supported by a GIS tool for assessing and visualizing the hydraulic performance of the city’s drainage infrastructure. The tool was developed using Visual Basic and Model Builder. The performance tool calculated expected peak discharges, compared them with the drainage hydraulic capacities, and displayed the results in color-coded maps in GIS. This involved the use of several GIS functions to determine the spatial relationship between watershed and drainage data to find the expected peak discharges. The method was applied to the drainage infrastructure to provide the City of El Paso with a tool to identify weak links in the infrastructure system which would then be evaluated in detail to determine appropriate repairs and improvements.^

Subject Area

Engineering, Civil

Recommended Citation

Camacho, Gema Liliana, "GIS-based tool for assessing hydraulic performance of drainage infrastructure system in El Paso" (2009). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI1468974.