OC Stormwater Tools: A Collaborative, Open-Source Web-App to Support the Lifecycle of Watershed Plan Implementation. Part of a Panel on Open Source Software Development.
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The South Orange County Watershed Management Area (WMA) is initiating implementation of its Water Quality Improvement Plan (WQIP), which describes priorities, goals, strategies, monitoring activities, and adaptive management approaches that will be implemented over the next 30 to 40 years.

To support key elements of the WQIP lifecycle, the South OC WMA is developing an open-source web application – the OC Stormwater Tools. The long-term purposes of the application include: (1) building and maintaining consistent BMP asset datasets, (2) supporting rapid BMP condition assessment and maintenance tracking, (3) supporting monitoring, assessment and adaptive management via integrated performance modeling and streamlined reporting, and (4) supporting new project development and funding, including integrated regional water management (IRWM) projects.

The first phase of this effort was initiated in December 2017 and will go into use in July 2018 to help MS4 Permittees improve asset inventories, conduct inspections, and track maintenance activities for BMPs ranging from trash capture screens to major regional IRWM projects. Users will include Permittee stormwater program managers, technical staff, field personnel, and maintenance contractors. Development of the application was supported by extensive user testing and individual Permittee interviews intended to detail existing workflows and build upon current datasets. Based on this input, custom workflows were integrated into the application to improve the simplicity of the user experience while improving the quality and completeness of collected data. The application supports approximately 15 typical stormwater BMP types and allows BMP types, observation types, and attributes to be added and configured by an administrative user. It also supports trash capture devices and "On Land Visual Trash Assessment."

The application is open source (GNU Affero General Public License). This means it can be freely redistributed and/or modified under the terms of the open source license. The Stormwater Tools application is derived from the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency's Lake Tahoe Info Stormwater Tools, with substantial additions and enhancements contributed to the source code as part of this project.

This presentation will focus on three key elements: A. The functionality of the OC Stormwater Tools application and the vision for how this will support WQIP implementation in South OC. B. The collaborative tool development process, including how user input was collected and used to define and prioritize application functionality. C. The factors that led Orange County to build this application in the open source domain, and how this creates opportunities for broader community engagement around this application.

Publication Summary

  • Geosyntec Authors: Aaron Poresky, Avery Blackwell
  • All Authors: Cindy Rivers (County of Orange), Grant Sharp (County of Orange), Aaron Poresky (Geosyntec), John Burns (Sitka Technology Group), Avery Blackwell (Geosyntec)
  • Title: California Stormwater Quality Association (CASQA)
  • Event or Publication: Event
  • Practice Areas: Stormwater and Integrated Water Resource Management
  • Date: October 16th, 2018 from 3:45 p.m. to 5:25 p.m.
  • Location: Riverside Convention Center, Riverside, California