Showcase Your Water and Wastewater Infrastructure CIP Through Interactive Mapping
Capital Improvements Explained
In the face of a changing climate, aging infrastructure and emerging water quality concerns, investing in water and wastewater infrastructure is critical. To ensure that customers have safe, clean and reliable water into the future, utilities must maintain pipes, pump stations, reservoirs and treatment plants today.
In early 2019, the City of Phoenix’s Water Services Department, Phoenix Water, asked the City Council to approve a rate increase, the first since 2015. The Council subsequently asked Phoenix Water to create a website to transparently show where and how water customers’ rates are used. Our Strategic Communications team worked with Phoenix Water to develop an interactive, user-friendly website called Phx Water Smart to help customers understand what capital improvements mean for them. The site’s design centered on connecting customers’ investments (water rate funds) with Phoenix Water’s five-year Capital Improvement Program, and the impact these projects would have on customers.
Through a series of tabs, graphics and videos, the website guides customers through an interactive learning experience that answers four major questions:
- Why is the CIP important?
- Who does Phoenix Water serve?
- What is Phoenix Water improving?
- Where is Phoenix Water working?
The goal of the website is for customers to gain a better understanding of how their investments are building the future of water infrastructure in their community.
To put this information into perspective, customers ultimately are guided to an interactive map that highlights their investments in action. With the help of color coding, project phase category filters and pop-up information on each project’s cost, type, dates and anticipated impacts, the map tells ratepayers a story about the water and wastewater infrastructure improvement projects in design and underway throughout Phoenix. This interactive map transformed a 230-page CIP document into a visual representation of a $2.8B program that includes over 250 capital improvement projects.
Not only is this map interactive and informative, but it is also user-friendly as well. If looking for a specific project, customers can filter by council district or by type (assessment, design or construction), and then either enter an address into the search bar or zoom into that location on the map. Once identified, they can click on the highlighted project and a pop-up screen will appear with project-specific details, allowing customers to see exactly how Phoenix Water is preparing and investing in our future.
The website and interactive map are key components to helping customers truly see their dollars at work and understand the importance of investing in our aging infrastructure in the City of Phoenix.
Since going live in December 2019, there have been nearly 1,000 unique page views, with over 1,500 page views total. To promote the new site, the city is actively posting on their social media channels as well as through other city department webpages.
“Working with HDR to design our new CIP website has been a smooth and enlightening process. We are excited for the website to go live so we can share information about our critical infrastructure projects with the community.”
— Darlene Helm, City of Phoenix Water Services Dept., Deputy Director December 2019