Engineering

Residents can now use city-developed tech to track real-time ponding data

ISWMM was developed to give residents insight into rising water levels in their areas.

Jorge Alba, the City of Sugar Land’s Senior Engineering Manager, explains the creation of the ISWMM.

Residents can now get real-time flood data during a storm on their phone or computer, thanks to a new technology developed by the City of Sugar Land.

The Integrated Stormwater Management Model, or ISWMM, was developed to give residents insight into rising water levels in their areas, giving street-by-street data to help residents plan their next steps in the middle of a rain event.

What is ISWMM?

ISWMM stands for Integrated Stormwater Management Model. It has an integrated information on the stormwater system for every neighborhood, allowing the City to track the level of ponding and flooding within city limits in real-time. Residents will be able to access real-time ponding information, as well as have the ability to receive notifications about ponding, street flooding, and potential street closures. Assistance in planning evacuation routes and evaluating current drainage infrastructure is also available.

Why was this tool created?

The tool was created to be used in the middle of a storm, Jorge Alba, the City of Sugar Land’s Senior Engineering Manager, said. The tool has been simplified to the point that it can be used by any City staff and residents with minimal training.

The tool has actually been around since 2008 in a physical format, where City staff would have to print out pieces of paper in order to track information. In order to increase access to the platform, this new, web-based version was created.

“After Harvey, we decided to make life easier for us,” Alba said. “We created a web-based map that could be opened from any computer, anywhere in the City, even from a cell phone.”

Since then, the City has taken steps to develop the platform to be web-based so that any City staff could have access whether they were in the office or in the field. Once that launched, the focus turned to getting the platform out to residents.

How accurate is ISWMM?

ISWMM updates in real-time, which allows the City to accurately display flooding and ponding information in each Sugar Land neighborhood.

For more information on this new technology, visit www.sugarlandtx.gov/ISWMM.

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