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  • Writer's pictureJeff Lamb

A Data Driven Water and Wastewater Utility with John Nolte

Updated: Jan 20

In this Pathfinder episode, we speak with John Nolte, GIS Professional and URISA International Board member in the Geospatial Industry. John joins us from his home in Denver, Colorado and shares his journey from environmental field technician to GIS Manager at Denver Water. He and his team have dug deep into the archives to build a data driven water and wastewater utility that is used for asset management and predictive analytics. If you live in Denver, then you're in good hands as John cares about the water you drink!

Jump to a section:

Quick Clip | What is GIS? | Education | Passion | Action | Tenacity | Humility | Contact


As John has traveled along this career path, he has learned a few lessons that he shares with our Pathfinder community.

1) Find a career path that you love doing and make a difference to society.

2) Learn all aspects of your work. Spend time in the field collecting data, build technical solutions and understand how to lead and manage projects.

3) Remember that effective coordination of people and communication of risks is the key to change management. Get everyone in a room and talk it out and be transparent and timely in dealing with conflict.


Passion - For John, all career roads led to water and how to manage water because water is core element of life. Protecting water at its source and throughout its journey to you is how John has chosen to apply his love for GIS.

Action - He turned this passion into action by setting the vision for and building a world class asset management and GIS program that have collectively developed a trusted data repository of all water and waste water assets that can be used from predictive analysis.

Tenacity - This achievement was not easy and he has been tenacious in making sure all parties are on the same page. His team has worked hard to define, test and refine their predictive models to make sure that they are trusted and accurate for reporting.

Humility - This journey has taught John that there are many smarter people than him and that everyone on the team has their niche. John brings a vision and an ability to articulate the direction and the team around him have come together to be a very cohesive unit that understand and respect each others expertise.


John M. Nolte, GISP is the GIS Manager for Administrative Services at Denver Water in Denver Colorado. He is responsible for managing the spatial analytics GIS group for the utility and is working with data analytics and asset management. John has 10 years experience in water and wastewater utility and was previously a state certified water and wastewater professional. He has extensive knowledge of asset management and the use of GIS to analyze infrastructure. He has also been a manager in GIS for over ten years and teaches leadership and management courses specific to the GIS profession. He currently serves on the board of directors of URISA International and is treasurer of the local Rocky Mountain Chapter of URISA. John is also a member of the GIS Advisory team for Emily Griffiths Technical College in Denver where he helps build structures for curriculum and study goals for the certificate program. Credit City of Denver image in video.

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