Development of a System to Track and Visualize the Benefits of Green Infrastructure in San Mateo County
The San Francisco Bay Area is an emerging leader of green infrastructure implementation in the U.S. The City/County Association of Governments of San Mateo County (C/CAG), in cooperation with its 21 member agencies, is leading development of a web-based system to track GI implementation, quantify the benefits of GI and visualize progress toward Countywide goals. The GI Tracking Tool is a next-generational application, built upon a modern technology stack that allows users to customize their own dashboards while providing best-available estimates of stormwater capture and climate change mitigation. Through a workshop and engagement with the 21 member agencies, the tool leverages a standard data template that is used to import and update inventories of GI including projects constructed by developers and public retrofits. The inventory will also help address GI tracking requirements of the Municipal Regional Stormwater Permit (MRP).
The GI Tracking Tool analyzes uploaded project data using continuous simulation models that estimate the benefits of the GI including stormwater capture under current conditions (annual average year and design storms) and future weather (design storms modified by climate change). The continuous simulation models are built upon those used for the Reasonable Assurance Analysis (RAA) supporting GI planning efforts and addressing requirements of the MRP and TMDL pollutant load reductions. This consistency with the RAA provides seamless linkage between GI planning, water quality improvement, and tracking of progress. The climate change boundary conditions leverage the results of an intensive climate change resiliency analysis by C/CAG that investigated ensembles of Global Climate Models under varying climate projection scenarios. The mapping components of the GI Tracking Tool include novel functionality including the ability of users to upload shapefiles that illustrate the drainage areas and parcels managed by projects – those files are visualized on the dynamic map and analyzed to provide boundary conditions for the models to estimate stormwater capture (land use, soil type, imperviousness, etc.). Finally, the dashboard component of the GI Tracking Tool uses a novel grid-based user interface that allows the 21 member agencies to arrange the visualizations, map and tabular outputs in a customized manner and save layouts – this approach provides ultimate flexibility to the front-end and allows the interface to evolve over time while efficiently allowing new visual components to be added.
For this presentation, to be most informative for the audience, the presentation will emphasize the PROCESS to develop the GI Tracking Tool. When municipalities are developing a tool, there are often multiple uses and audiences to be addressed, and navigating through an array of input and desired outputs is critical to success of building a comprehensive system. The presentation will describe the work plan developed for the system, the engagement of the member agencies, digesting data inventories that already existed across the various cities, and the iterative process that is being used to build the tool and allow frequent feedback from member agencies. Finally, the presentation will include a demo of the tool to illustrate its functionality with an emphasis on (1) the novel components that expand beyond typical functionality of tracking tools and (2) design elements that will allow the system to be long-lasting, expandable and adaptable over time. The presentation will be engaging to a wide array of participants including stormwater agencies, regulators, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector.
Matthew Fabry serves as Manager for the San Mateo Countywide Water Pollution Prevention Program, a program of the City/County Association of Governments of San Mateo County, which assists the 21 San Mateo municipalities with stormwater compliance issues. He is currently Chair of the Bay Area Stormwater Management Agencies Association and has over 25 years of experience in water quality and stormwater management.
Dustin is a Director and Professional Hydrologist with Paradigm Environmental. He specializes in stormwater and watershed planning, including international applications of water quality modeling tools and web-based systems.