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Denver Data-Driven Prioritization

Matrix has worked with the City and County of Denver since 2002 assisting the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure (DOTI) in managing water quality, storm sewer, and sanitary sewer infrastructure. Our work has focused on the development of innovative tools and approaches that guide capital improvement programs and integrated, holistic solutions to manage concerns. Recently, Matrix and DOTI collaborated on the design and execution of a series of analyses that apply a data-driven approach to prioritizing infrastructure investment. The work resulted in an objective and defensible framework for identifying and promoting projects of most value to Denver residents.

Starting with the Stormwater Quality Prioritization and Best Management Practices Opportunity Analysis Report, scorecards were developed to rank basins using various GIS attributes and pollutant loadings to determine where storm water quality improvements are most needed. Following the success of the water quality analysis, storm and sanitary studies were completed to prioritize areas within Denver’s existing storm and sanitary sewer systems that need improvement. A key component of these analyses was identifying appropriate metrics, such as age, condition, and hydraulic capacity, to evaluate and prioritize areas/projects instead of using arbitrary characteristics or subjective assessments. Social variables were also considered, including community factors such as income and educational attainment.