Leveraging Stormwater GIS for Enhanced Resiliency

Key Takeaways from the Salinas, California, 2NDNATURE, and Esri Webinar

In an era where urban areas grapple with environmental challenges such as increased heavy rainfall and intense urban heat islands, the significance of municipal stormwater management efforts is unequivocally evident. Esri recently conducted a webinar featuring Sunny Flemming, Nicole Beck (the founder and CEO of 2NDNATURE), and Heidi Niggemeyer, who oversees stormwater compliance in Salinas. They discussed how GIS technology and geospatial data revolutionize stormwater management, significantly strengthening the resiliency of local communities.


Addressing the Crisis with Unseen Potential

Sunny expertly bridges the gap between overarching national objectives and the precise requirements of local permitting. Nicole outlines urban areas’ environmental challenges and advocates for adopting cutting-edge GIS-based solutions to overcome the increasing environmental obstacles. Although traditionally focused on compliance, municipal stormwater initiatives are emerging as crucial catalysts for change. Nicole highlights these programs’ potential to transform into resilient and equitable environmental stewardship models.

The directive was clear: adopt a watershed-based stance on stormwater management, treating rainwater as a valuable resource rather than a discardable by-product. This shift demands strong leadership, sufficient financing, and strategic utilization of geospatial data for informed decision-making beyond mere regulatory adherence.

Navigating from Compliance to Resilience

Heidi offers a concrete perspective on the transformative power of digital evolution in stormwater management. Transitioning from outdated, paperwork-heavy data collection methods to a digital framework has significantly boosted her team’s operational efficiency, decision-making capabilities, and resilience goals at the City of Salinas.

The implementation of stormwater GIS technology marked a critical step forward, allowing for the creation of water quality prioritization maps that identify areas deserving of investment. By adopting a watershed-based planning approach, the City of Salinas has developed strategies that comply with regulatory requirements and deliver widespread community benefits, including flood mitigation, enhanced groundwater recharge, and environmental justice.

As Heidi shares the story of Salinas, we hope you’ll be inspired to examine solutions like 2NFORM more closely to achieve similar results in your community.

Empowering Municipalities with GIS Technology

The insights from Sunny, Nicole, and Heidi spotlight the critical importance of integrating GIS technology and geospatial data in pursuing sustainable urban environmental management. Municipal stormwater managers, GIS experts, and public works professionals spearhead this transformative endeavor. With a proactive, informed, and strategic approach to stormwater management, municipalities are equipped to confront current environmental challenges and pave the way for resilient communities of tomorrow.

We invite you to view the webinar recording to glean ideas and inspiration for unleashing GIS’s potential and steering toward a resilient and sustainable future.

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