StormWater Management Information System (SWMIS): Internet-based, Geospatial Planning Tools for Stormwater Management Systems
Barneget Bay & Little Egg Harbor, New Jersey
When it comes to effective stormwater management strategies, context is everything. To help protect water quality, manage flooding, and replenish aquifers, coastal communities need comprehensive information on how new development projects may combine with existing stormwater infrastructure to impact surface and groundwater flows within a watershed. Unfortunately, in most cases, new development projects are evaluated in a vacuum, with only minimal consideration of the cumulative impacts on water resources at the watershed scale.
Scientists and educators from Rutgers University and the Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR) aim to fill that gap with the StormWater Management Information System (SWMIS), a suite of internet-based geospatial tools coupled to a database management system. SWIMS will provide a watershed-wide, geospatial inventory of existing stormwater management infrastructure such as catchbasins, detention ponds, and infiltration areas, as well as models to evaluate the impact of proposed development and mitigation projects on water resources.
Natural resource protection and land use planning professionals will be able to use SWIMS to site new developments and to determine when existing stormwater infrastructure needs restoration due to changes brought about by the expansion of impervious surfaces like roads, parking lots, and buildings.
This project team is working with municipal and state officials in New Jersey’s Ocean County to develop and demonstrate an accessible prototype of SWMIS using data from the Barneget Bay-Little Egg Harbor (BBLEH) watershed. The goal is to provide a model that other coastal communities can use to promote enhanced coastal water quality through the improved watershed-scale management of stormwater.