Skip to main content

International Water Institute Map Portal

International Water Institute Map Portal
International Water Institute Map Portal

Location:  Red River of the North Watershed, North Dakota
Client:  International Water Institute


In 2019, the International Water Institute (IWI) hired HEI to develop a web-based geographic information system (GIS) solution called the “IWI Map Portal” to help water resource managers and the public access GIS data in the Red River of the North Watershed. 

The Project

The interactive map has customized tools to help inform users about weather, flooding, and drought conditions. The solution has a custom widget to view flood extents and flood inundation layers at specific forecasted river stages for the Red River and portions of Sheyenne River. There is also a tool to interact with the available watershedwide LiDAR data. Users can draw a line on the map to plot an elevation profile or place elevation labels on the map for printing. The screen capture below shows how a user might view the 18-foot flood stage south of Lisbon, ND, plot elevation labels, and a profile to make decisions on where a property sits in relationship to a flood stage.
18-foot flood stage south of Lisbon, ND
Another custom feature that was developed is a watershed delineation and hydrology report tool. The watershed has hydro-conditioned digital elevation models (hDEMs) created from LiDAR that helps represent local effects of man-made features like culverts and bridges. This data creates a more accurate representation of hydrology and water flowlines for a watershed, which leads to a more accurate watershed delineation.

There is a flowline layer that will depict which way water flows at a local field scale. After a user delineates a watershed, they can create a hydrology report that gives them statistics about the watershed, such as curve numbers and peak streamflow estimates that are typically used for preliminary culvert sizing. There are also LiDAR-derived map layers to show where depressions are on the landscape for a certain rainfall event. These are useful to locate potential areas for wetland restorations or water storage projects. The screen capture below illustrates a watershed delineation.
Watershed delineation illustration
The interactive map's GIS components were developed with the ESRI ArcGIS platform. The data is managed with ArcGIS Enterprise with the PostgreSQL database. Geoprocessing services run the watershed delineation and hydrology report functions. The viewer was created with the developer edition of the Web Application Builder framework. The interactive map is set up in a framework where the geographic extent could be expanded, or additional tools could be developed and added to the viewer.