MDOT SHA Chesapeake Bay TMDL GIS Data Management

Statewide, Maryland

Lone Wolfe Photos / Shutterstock

In response to the comprehensive requirements and standards of the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) program and the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Phase I Permit, the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) requested KCI to lead a GIS initiative to develop primary databases, applications and workflows to support TMDL program management and compliance reporting efforts. For this initiative, KCI is responsible for supporting the Office of Environmental Design’s (OED) TMDL program and its efforts to meet the impervious restoration requirements in the NPDES permit, local TMDLs requirements and Bay TMDL pollutant reductions. The goal of this $600 million program is to plan, design and implement water quality treatment strategies to reduce the key pollutants of nitrogen, phosphorus and suspended sediment and treat an additional 20 percent of the total impervious surfaces owned by MDOT SHA. The overall goal of the Bay Restoration TMDL program is to reduce pollutant materials delivered to the Chesapeake Bay from connected tributaries to improve the overall health of the estuary ecosystem.

In support of a multi-year effort to meet NPDES permit requirements and TMDL compliance, KCI is providing IT / GIS data management, stormwater and stream restoration program management, and pollutant load modeling services. The primary tasks include:

  • Designing and implementing an enterprise TMDL database for planning, monitoring and reporting the overall progress as well as the migration of a series of comprehensive datasets into the standardized format ensuring currency, completeness and accuracy. The implemented TMDL enterprise database focuses on impervious treatment tracking, asset management, maintenance planning and reporting compliance, and has been used to support county and watershed prioritization for milestone planning.
  • Developing a suite of GIS-based applications for TMDL and NPDES services, including dashboard solutions, portfolio management tools, modeling tools, eGIS applications and reporting tools.
  • Utilizing pollutant load models, including MAST (Maryland Assessment Scenario Tool), custom automated modeling tools and spreadsheet tools, to support TMDL planning efforts by quantifying MDOT SHA’s BMP pollutant removal baseline values, and by developing scenarios of proposed BMPs by milestone year to project pollutant removal and impervious treatment for TMDL compliance reporting.
  • Providing field verification of MDOT SHA’s BMP functionality, BMP drainage area delineation, and impervious accounting, as described in detail below, to determine the amount of impervious area being treated.

KCI serves as the lead program manager for GIS data management, specifically overseeing the reporting, impervious accounting and database and application development. Our team has provided a staff of experienced TMDL business analysts and GIS analysts supporting requirements gathering, data modeling, migration, and process standardization.

MSHA-Chesapeake-Bay-Restoration-TMDL-Program-GIS-Data-Management-Field-WorkWith a program of this size and magnitude, KCI quickly prioritized the data management and modeling efforts to support the rapidly growing number of projects, the implementation of thousands of water quality BMPs and coordination of many teams working towards this common goal. As a result, our team has implemented a series of best practices in data synthesis and modeling, data maintenance, and reporting. The firm provides the TMDL program with tools to support data-driven decision making to plan, execute, and monitor the program resulting in reporting to the senior MDOT SHA leadership for decision making and tracking of Key Performance Indicators (KPI).

KCI implemented modeling and tracking systems to monitor progress and report metrics based on benchmarks for the comparison of actual progress and baseline plans, which our team developed through requirements, design, development, testing and continued maintenance services. To date, MDOT SHA has relied on the comprehensive GIS-centric data management approach to support effective, data-driven decisions in relation to program funding, planning, implementation, and maintenance resources as well as the monitoring the health and performance of the overall program.

We assembled a cohesive team with multiple technical specialties to provide MDOT SHA with modeling, water resources, natural resources, and data management perspectives in order to provide them a comprehensive solution.

Jeffrey Tirschman, PMPProgram Manager

Jeffrey Tirschman, PMP

KCI is responsible for providing leadership, vision and implementation of the database and application portfolio in support of the MDOT SHA TMDL program. Our team has developed an enterprise TMDL geodatabase providing a centralized repository for all of the TMDL information architecture. We are providing services and technical support for data maintenance, advanced spatial analysis, modeling, scripting, reporting, and associated data-driven workflows and business processes. Our team works closely with the TMDL team leadership and stakeholders to support the IT / GIS needs of the planning, modeling, site selection, county coordination, and outreach teams. The KCI team has developed repeatable scripts and reporting methods in support of the NPDES annual reporting and TMDL compliance reporting.

The data management system that the firm deployed at MDOT SHA is a geospatial solution that centers on GIS technology to map and represents all water quality infrastructure assets that are built or planned within the state of Maryland in support of the TMDL program. The map-centric approach of this enterprise, centralized data management system supports executive decision making in terms of the spatial context of the program, including understanding the distribution of resources across jurisdictions, the relationship of water quality systems within the watersheds, and the treatment applied across various strategies to meet the pollutant load reduction goals.

KCI has mapped and detailed the various strategies and assets in the database to highlight the treatment provided after implementation to support the performance metric reporting. To populate this database framework, a series of data migrations were performed to extract, process, and load the information into the database. Beyond this migration, our team supports MDOT SHA with data maintenance on a daily basis in the central enterprise GIS ensuring the currency and completeness of the data. KCI has developed a data management process to compliment the system, which relies on data managers, analysts, modelers, and leadership stakeholders to all work together in support of an iterative analytical procedure for planning, modeling, execution and tracking.

MSHA-Chesapeake-Bay-Restoration-TMDL-Program-GIS-Data-Management-Reforestation-Screenshot-2

The KCI TMDL team not only developed exceptional data driven decision systems, but has employed business analysts to create detailed functional requirements, needs assessments, design specifications, wireframes, development, testing, conduct user acceptance testing, deployments and training for several applications:

  • SHA OED eGIS TMDL Editor
  • SHA OED Automated Modeling Tool
  • Portfolio Tracking Tool

The business analysis work defined the optimal workflows for maintaining the central enterprise database and documented the business process into a series of diagrams. The workflow diagrams, in conjunction with user stories defined the sequence of activities for the detailed editing process. The workflows were built into the OED eGIS TMDL editor application and deployed into the MDOT SHA enterprise GIS framework. The TMDL editor application is a comprehensive tool supporting the selection and query, analysis, maintenance and reporting of TMDL information. The automated modeling tool is an innovative scripting utility to model load reductions for BMPs based on GIS spatial data and planned portfolio information identifying compliance to reduction targets at a watershed and statewide level.