Investigating the Utility of Web-Based GIS in Water Quality Environmental Decision-Making

EPA Grant Number: FP917339
Title: Investigating the Utility of Web-Based GIS in Water Quality Environmental Decision-Making
Investigators: Hoover, Joseph H
Institution: University of Denver
EPA Project Officer: Zambrana, Jose
Project Period: September 1, 2011 through August 31, 2014
Project Amount: $126,000
RFA: STAR Graduate Fellowships (2011) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Fellowship - Emerging Environmental Approaches and Challenges: Social Sciences , Academic Fellowships


The purpose of this study is to examine the effectiveness of a web-based Geographic Information System (GIS) in facilitating communication between stakeholders and non-governmental organizations and institutions of higher education researchers. It will evaluate the potential of webGIS as a tool to increase stakeholder participation in environmental decision-making for water resource issues.


This study will employ a mixed methods research design to: (1) gather, evaluate and analyze user perceptions toward the effectiveness of the web tool to convey scientific information and policy scenarios; (2) evaluate perceptions toward the scope and depth of human health impacts from drinking water contamination; (3) assess the applicability of the web-based geovisualization tool in environmental decision-making; and (4) determine user attitudes regarding the webbased geovisualization tool. Data collection, summarization and analysis procedures include descriptive statistics, survey coding, ANOVA, Q method and factor analysis.

Expected Results:

The expected project results will provide researchers and practitioners a contemporary technological model for providing enhanced interactive web-based presentations leading to more effective stakeholder participation in the environmental decision-making process for water quality and water resource issues. To this end, the general public can become more involved in the environmental decision-making process leading to more effective environmental policies.

Potential to Further Environmental / Human Health Protection

Project results will enable policy makers and researchers to more effectively communicate scientific information regarding groundwater contamination to stakeholders. As a result, greater stakeholder participation will lead to better human and environmental protection because environmental decision-making will be more effective.

Supplemental Keywords:

water resources, webGIS, environmental decision making, groundwater quality

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 2012
  • 2013
  • Final