Oakland, California (EastBayDaily) — The lack of rainfall has California communities scrambling to control water consumption as reservoirs are 50 percent below capacity across the state. In response to the situation, California Governor Jerry Brown has called for a statewide 20 percent drop in consumption. However, instead of cutting usage, residents in many communities are using more water. To combat the situation, agency staff including enforcement officers are relying on Comcate software.
This is the third year of drought for California, making for one of the driest three-year periods in almost 100 years. 2013 was the driest recorded year in California’s history. Residents are now naming water as their top environmental concern, topping air pollution as the most pressing concern for the first time in nearly 15 years.
The situation has pushed The Santa Clara Valley Water District Board to hire at least 10 new water enforcement officers to help educate community members who are violating water control measures and to track activity through the Comcate mobile app.
The community has already started a campaign called, “Brown is the New Green” to influence residents to conserve water by letting their lawns go dry. While that campaign is expected to draw attention to the water shortage, board members recognize that putting more code enforcement officers on the street is necessary.
These additional part-time officers are expected to help bring residents into compliance. Their efforts will focus mainly on those who are washing hard surfaces like driveways and sidewalks, washing cars with hoses that do not have a shutoff nozzle, using drinking water in fountains that don’t recirculate the water and allowing excessive runoff from landscaping to occur.
These new officers will join current officers who are taking advantage of Comcate software that allows them to do their jobs more efficiently. Comcate, an Oakland-based software company that builds solutions for municipalities and governmental agencies, implemented a solution for the Santa Clara County Valley Water Agency. Armed with a mobile app, officers can create new cases from the field and report back to the office quickly and easily.
“The situation at Santa Clara Valley Water is one where community activity is outpacing resources and creating a demand for greater efficiency through software,” said David Richmond, Comcate CEO. “Comcate works with individual agencies to develop program solutions that deliver improved operation, greater efficiency and better communication. When resources are lacking, Comcate provides the interface needed to ensure productive engagement throughout the community.”
Because of Comcate’s solution, the new officers will be better able to communicate with citizens who report violators. Citizens are also part of the solution as they can upload photos of suspected violations through Comcate’s mobile app. Once a case is created, code enforcement officers can inform the citizen about the progress of the case.
Keeping tabs on the water situation is not a simple task, but Comcate’s solutions are assisting residents and officers in providing a more efficient means of monitoring a problem that is likely to plague California residents for many more months.
Check out the live report from Santa Clara.
About Comcate Designed by public agency professionals, Comcate helps clients achieve their goals by implementing programs using technology solutions and knowledge. By providing easy to use solutions that promote streamlined communication, real-time data sharing and excellent reporting capabilities, municipal employees are better equipped to continually improve their programs and processes and to deliver maximum value to their citizens and constituents. For more information, visit http://www.comcate.com.
Susan J. Campbell