CE 394K.3                              Final Exam                    Fall 2003

GIS in Water Resources


There are three questions on this exam.   Do all three questions.  For the first two questions, prepare a 2-page typed theme paper.  For the third question use ArcGIS and/or Excel to prepare the map and answers requested.  Staple all three solutions  together in the order of the questions, and turn in the result to the EWRE secretary in ECJ8.6 by 5PM on Friday, December 12.   This is a take-home exam.  You are honor bound not to discuss this exam with your colleagues in the class.  Your answers should be the result of your work and thought alone.  Be assured that if essentially the same idea appears in answers from more than one person, it is fairly easy to recognize that when the grading is being done.  If that happens, it is not clear from whom the idea originated and who is just using somebody else’s knowledge.  So, keep your ideas to yourself!


The term papers that you choose to describe in answering Questions 1 and 2 should be mutually exclusive, that is, if you focus on a particular term paper in answering one of the questions, don’t focus on the same paper when answering the other question.  The Texas class term project listing can be found at: http://www.ce.utexas.edu/prof/MAIDMENT/giswr2003/giswr2003.htm

The Utah class term project listing can be found at:


You can use projects from either location in preparing your answers.


What I am looking for in grading your answers is:


·        Knowledge of the facts.  Make sure you lay out the facts of what has actually been done before you start offering opinions about what could have or should have been done.  This particularly applies to the discussion of term papers.  Make sure you discuss what was actually done in the term paper not just about the general subject itself.

·        Thoughtful evaluation.   How do you evaluate the advantages and limitations of the principles, methods and data that have been used?   How does the knowledge you’ve learned in this class relate to the world around us?   I am looking for a sense of reflection here, of seeing you set individual situations and facts in a larger context in an intelligent way.




1.      Summarize and Critique a GIS in Water Resources Application


Choose a single term paper (not your own!) that you think is interesting and effective.  Summarize the content of the paper, describing the nature of the problem examined by the author, how the investigation was carried out, and what results were achieved.  Explain why this paper appeals to you. Why is the problem it addresses important?  What insights or new knowledge does this paper contribute? What makes the investigation described by this paper an effective implementation of GIS technology?   What makes the presentation of the paper effective in terms of communication?  How could the paper have been improved?  What are the advantages and limitations of the methods used in the paper?



2.      Compare and Contrast Two Applications Dealing with the same Theme


Choose two term papers that deal with the same or similar themes or topics.  These papers should be different than the paper you chose to answer Question 1, and neither of them should be your own term paper.  Briefly summarize the contents of the papers (the problem examined, the method of analysis, the results achieved).   Compare and contrast the approaches to the problem that the two papers took.  Which technical approach do you think was more effective?  Why?  Which paper does a more effective job of communicating its results?  Why?  Suppose you were undertaking a study of this same subject.  Having studied these two papers, what have you learned about how to go about your investigation effectively?  What would you do differently from what the authors of these papers did?


3.  Hydrologic analysis.


As a recent GIS in Water Resources graduate you are employed by a consulting company to assess the water resources of the Guadalupe River in Texas.  You have been assigned the following tasks since your firm knows you have just recently completed a GIS class that used several examples from the Guadalupe River basin as class exercises.  The following data is available to you.


-         guadalupehuc.shp.  A shapefile giving the 4 HUC's that comprise the Guadalupe Basin. 

-         GuadRain.e00 – an annual precipitation grid in ESRI Interchange file giving precipitation over the Guadalupe Basin in inchs.  Use Arc Toolbox to Import from Interchange file to Raster to get the Grid form of this file

-         uguaddem.  A digital elevation model grid covering the Upper Guadalupe HUC within the Guadalupe Basin.

-         guadsg.xls.  An excel spreadsheet containing location information for eight USGS stream gages in the Upper Guadalupe Basin

-         guadalupeflow.txt.  A text file of streamflow data downloaded from the USGS NSIP website containing annual flow at stream gages in the Upper Guadalupe Basin.

-         guadaluperf1.shp.  A shapefile giving the level 1 river reach data for the Guadalupe basin


All these data are have NAD 83 datum, Projection Albers Equal Area with central meridian 96W, standard parallels at 29.5N and 45.5N and reference latitude of 23N.  Map units are meters, false easting and northing are both 0.


These data are all are contained in the file final.zip available from http://www.ce.utexas.edu/prof/maidment/giswr2003/exam/final.zip


1.      Prepare a nice map showing: (1) the Guadalupe river network, (2) HUC watersheds, and (3) Terrain surface (4) stream gages in the Upper Guadalupe basin.  Include an appropriate scale bar.  Label each gage with its annual flow.


2.      Calculate the basin average precipitation for each HUC in the Guadalupe Basin, using the PRISM precipitation data. 

Report the following:

-         Area of each HUC (in mi2)

-         Basin average annual precipitation over the HUC (from PRISM in inches)

-         Annual volume of precipitation over the HUC (in ft3)

-         Total annual volume of precipitation and mean precipitation depth for the entire 4 HUC Guadalupe basin

-         Which HUC has the highest basin average precipitation?


Include a typed report describing the procedures used to obtain your results.