Since 1956, Otay Water District in Southern California has been a water, recycled water, and sewer service provider. Purchasing potable water from the San Diego County Water Authority or the Helix Water District, the imported water is a mix of waters from the Colorado River and Northern California and is purchased from the region’s primary importer, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.
The Otay Water District, with 139 employees and a $98.5 million operating budget, serves water to a population of nearly 226,000 people within 125 square miles of southeastern San Diego County, California. Its facilities serve the water, recycled water, and sewer needs to customers residing in the communities of Spring Valley, La Presa, Rancho San Diego, Jamul, eastern Chula Vista, and eastern Otay Mesa along the international border with Mexico. Otay Water District is a “revenue neutral” public agency where each customer pays only his or her fair share of the District’s costs of acquiring, treating, transporting, and the operation and maintenance of the public water, recycled water, or sewer facilities. The Otay Water District’s mission is “to provide high value water and wastewater services to the customers of the Otay Water District in a professional, effective, and efficient manner.”
In 2010–2011, the Otay Water District, having the vision to be at the forefront of innovation to provide water services at an affordable rate, began the discovery process, needs assessment, and functional requirements for a GIS-centric asset management and reporting system. A solution that leverages the District’s current GIS and financial system investments by integrating enterprise work order functions, asset management, expenditures, and capital planning. After in-depth research, they determined that most systems were not GIS-centric. Through solution evaluations, the Otay team identified Cityworks as the best GIS-centric asset management system that met its enterprise needs.
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The team then went through a very rigorous functional requirement gathering phase, reviewed the process of every department, and discussed their needs with other similar agencies. After all the research and due diligence conducted, they determined that Cityworks was the best system to resolve their overall asset management and work order needs. “The ultimate goal in selecting Cityworks was to have a solution that provided GIS-centric modeling, predictive analytics, and effective reporting features for the District,” said Cyndi Alcantara, business analyst.
Otay worked very hard to create a logical, simplified, and streamlined workflow in determining the right system. It had to be efficient, easy to use, intuitive for staff as a daily tool, and centralized for all departments to access and utilize easily. Once they went through the entire process and made GIS the primary focus of these requirements, they could initiate and seek sole source guidelines in support of the purchase of Cityworks. They hired Timmons Group, through a RFP process, as a consultant and kicked off the project in 2014. After a comprehensive implementation process, the team went live in July of 2015.
It was, and continues to be, very important for Otay Water District to be able to understand the functional relationships and connections between the organization’s vertical and horizontal assets. With Cityworks, coupled with Esri GIS map technology, the preventive maintenance process would become more efficient.
As an example, when repairing components associated with a pump station, staff can obtain and create a report for management, detailing total cost of repairing, parts required, total labor cost, CCTV requirements, and any additional machinery needed to successfully complete the repair.
The importance of Otay’s story is that Cityworks empowers staff at all levels. Obtaining the necessary information to perform their jobs efficiently requires a system that has the interrelationship of these predefined processes as the core to operation, maintenance, and sustainability of the District’s water infrastructure services.