Meeting Date:

March 15, 2010

Budgeted:           Yes





Darby Fuerst,


Water Conservation


General Manager

Line Item No.:



Prepared By:

Stephanie Pintar,

Cost Estimate: 



Inder Osahan,




Debbie Martin




General Counsel Review:  N/A

Committee Recommendation:  The Administrative Committee reviewed this item on March 9, 2010 and recommended Board approval.

CEQA Compliance:  N/A


SUMMARY:  Staff is requesting authorization to expend budgeted funds to complete software programming needs related to the District’s Water Demand Division Database (WDD-DBS).  The WDD-DBS was successfully deployed in October 2009 and requires additional programming for full implementation.  Specifically, this programming relates to functional improvements and changes, signature capture for inspection reports and other electronic forms, an Assessor’s Parcel Number (APN) lookup system to replace the current RealQuest property information subscription.  The proposed expenditures also include on-going maintenance costs.  The need for this additional work was presented to the Board in November 2009.  At that time, staff indicated that they were in the process of reviewing and refining the cost estimates and programming requirements to complete the WDD-DBS project and would be returning to the Board for further authorization.


The new database integrates the District’s former outdated databases and provides support for water permits, inspections, water use credits, water use entitlements (e.g., Pebble Beach and Sand City), rebates, water rationing, enforcement, accounts receivable, time tracking and various reports.  Since the October 2009 launch date, WDD-DBS support has been provided by Zone 24x7 (the contractor and designer of the system) and District staff.  Updates and refinements related to “in-scope” items (i.e., programming requirements specified in the Scope of Services) were covered under the original contract.  Zone 24x7 continues to quickly respond to adjustments needed in these areas.


Due to the complexity of the integrated database system, including the many different modules listed above, additional programming is necessary.  Specific activities and scenarios have been identified that were unanticipated in the original design and that need to be addressed at this time to complete the functionality of the system.  The expenditure of funds at this time will essentially complete the WDD-DBS.


RECOMMENDATION:  Staff recommends the Board authorize expenditure of budgeted funds in an amount not-to-exceed $66,800 for programming changes the WDD DBS to accommodate functionality improvements and database support/maintenance. 


DISCUSSION:  Each of the programming changes is described in more detail below.


Functional Improvements and Changes:  As staff has worked with the new system, the new user interface, and the database screens, it has been determined that some of the items originally programmed could be improved to provide better functionality, flexibility and responsiveness.  These functional requirements are based on staff feedback on the original design of the database system.  In addition, implementation of nine water demand-related ordinances since 2008 has also complicated programming and functionality, as each change potentially affects more than one module in the WDD-DBS.  The cost of this programming is $14,500.


Future amendments to the WDD-DBS will be required upon adoption of ordinances and other actions that affect the District’s Rules and Regulations.  Staff has implemented a process to prepare for programming requirements related to new ordinances, including scoping programming changes as early as possible in the process and identifying project costs.


Another key piece of the proposed functional improvements will be to transfer the data from the old legacy system to the WDD-DBS in a report format.  This will enable staff to shut down the old system in preparation for a larger data migration project that will be considered in the Fiscal Year 2010-2011 budget.  The cost of transferring the old database screens to the WDD-DBS is $2,800.


There will be a future requirement to migrate the old legacy data (i.e., the old database’s records that are in various formats) into the new system.  Although much of the data migration occurred with the initial implementation of the WDD-DBS, there remains a need to individually review files and input data that are not consistent with current reporting formats.  All of the old legacy DOS-based data for permits, conservation and rebates will eventually have to be matched to the fields in the WDD-DBS to enable complete data searches and reporting.  Transferred data must be cleaned up to match the new data fields so that logical and accurate reports can be generated.  The old legacy data needs to be transferred and corrected in a reasonable time frame so that the staff and the public can begin to reap the full benefits of the new system.  This process is referred to as “data mining.”  The mining effort itself tends to be very tedious and time consuming, as the data have to go through a quality control process. 


Funding for the data migration project will be included in the Fiscal Year 2010-2011 budget and will be contracted separately.  Staff is researching various options for the data mining effort. In addition to uploading the old legacy data, it is important to get the missing data for inspections (on paper) and parcel information (coming as an electronic file) into the new database. This is a simple data entry effort where a user will enter data into a computer by reviewing the paper document. In this case, this paper document would have been scanned into the document management system as a PDF (electronic) format. 


In the interim, the District has contracted with a temporary employment agency since October 2009 to begin this process by scanning and electronically filing all APN-specific property records. The District’s APN-specific files are being digitized using the scanning technologies available today. Once these documents are uploaded into the system, this will enable electronic retrieval of the documents and also allow staff to respond to customer requests in a more efficient manner.


Signature Capture:  The signature capture module will allow property owners/applicants to sign electronic documents using an electronic pad, similar to those in use at many retail stores.  This will facilitate completion of inspection documents in the field (i.e., during compliance and pre-inspections for water permits, conservation and rebates).  The signature capture module will enable property owners to sign acceptance of the report on the tablet computer for immediate transfer to the District’s files and immediate action on pending permits and rebates.  This process will save significant time that is currently spent entering the data after the inspection.  The cost of programming this module is $10,700.


Assessor’s Parcel Number (APN) Lookup System:  The Monterey County Assessor’s office has been sending parcel data to the District on a daily basis.  However, these data need to be incorporated into the new system to enable tracking of changes in ownership and to maintain current ownership information.  Programming changes are required to automate the transfer of the parcel data from the County.  This change will automate the data entry required for all property changes of ownership.  Staff will be able to research property information using an efficient and economical interface with all the historical data for that parcel.  The cost of programming this module is $8,800.


Maintenance: Ongoing maintenance is necessary to ensure that the WDD-DBS functions efficiently.  An example of maintenance work is data that may be corrupted in the former (old) database and that were transferred into the new system.  These data are now unavailable due to the former problem.  Maintenance involves the correction of corrupted data.  Another example is a data modification that occurs in an area of the WDD-DBS that is inaccessible to staff.  Again, due to the complexity of the system, staff is unable to adjust certain areas of the system.  This safeguard is in place to avoid catastrophic alterations to the system that could be made inadvertently by staff.  The cost of ongoing maintenance from November 2009 through June 30, 2010 is $6,500.


Contingency:  A contingency of $23,500 has been requested to cover unanticipated costs and was included in the mid-year budget adjustment.  Originally, this money was anticipated for database programming related to well water quality and depth for the Water Resources Division and the Planning and Engineering.  However, the priority is to complete the WDD-DBS before adding additional modules.


IMPACT TO STAFF/RESOURCES:  Funding for the requested improvements was included in the mid-year Fiscal Year 2009-2010 budget adjustment.  There are additional staff time impacts that will continue as staff assists the contractor with implementation of the WDD-DBS, including the changes discussed in this report.  The following table summarizes the current requests:


WDD Database Needs:


  Functional Improvements


  Database Changes


  Data Transfer & Legacy System Reports


  Signature Capture


  County APN


  Maintenance (November/December)


  Maintenance (January-June)


  WDD Database Contingency





The Fiscal Year 2009-10 budget included $30,000 for modifications to the Water Demand Division database. These funds were used to implement Ordinance 139 and new enhancements. In November 2009, there were additional funds budgeted for $15,000 to support the new database for Ordinance Nos. 140 and 141 implementation, accounts receivables and well production tracking needed for compliance with Regulation II (Permits) and Regulation XV (Expanded Water Conservation and Standby Rationing Plan). Manual processing of these records would have impacted the Water Demand Division staff, accounting and Support Services Division staff.