Late last month, the 2020 California Water Boards Water Data Science Symposium was held virtually. The annual event was hosted by the Surface Water Ambient Monitoring Program (SWAMP), the California Water Quality Monitoring Council, the California Water Boards Data Center, and the San Francisco Estuary Institute (SFEI). The goal of the event was to share exciting developments in how, through data monitoring, agencies can improve their water quality management decisions.
We are thrilled to share our contribution to the conference, the Urban Drool Tool. This online tool, developed in conjunction with Orange County Public Works (OCPW), Moulton Niguel Water District (MNWD), and Geosyntec Consultants, allows users to better quantify and visualize the amount of “urban drool,” or unnatural dry weather flow that contributes to water waste runoff in urban neighborhoods.
The Urban Drool Tool is an open-source web application in two parts. The first is a Neighborhood Explorer map, where users can type in their address and have access to personalized information about how the neighborhood contributes to urban drool, and how they are working to reduce drool. The second is a Watershed Explorer map where users can view a map of OCPW’s storm drain outfalls within the MNWD service area and statistics on how a watershed is impacted by drool. This map contains historical information of the drainage areas in addition to outfall scores.
OCPW and MNWD plan to use the Urban Drool Tool to not only find better solutions to combat toxic runoff but also improve watershed education in their community. The information that results from the Drool Tool can be utilized to determine which actions would be most appropriate and effective in restoring the natural balance of local watersheds.