Mile High Flood District

Offering broadly applicable digital-platform design practices combined with the modern web and cloud technologies to create user efficiency and ease in data sharing

Mile High Flood District, Denver, Colorado
Mile High Flood District (Formerly Urban Drainage and Flood Control District)

The Mile High Flood District (MHFD) is a part of greater Colorado’s Urban Drainage and Flood Control District (UDFCD), which comprises eight watersheds. The UDFCD includes Denver and an area of 1,608 square miles. Like many government agencies, the MHFD was previously behind the technology curve and needed better ways to monitor stream management and watershed master planning efforts. Its data and information products were based on cumbersome PDF files and had become too difficult to comprehend because of file sizes and complexities. The capability to easily reference data, problems, solutions, improvements, and plans was crucial to streamlining UDFCD operations. The UDFCD’s traditional approach to information sharing was ready for a transformative technology makeover that would consolidate massive data and reduce excessive emails and phone calls among its 43 local government partners.

In early 2019, the UDFCD reached out to its long-time advisor, RESPEC’s Denver office, to imagine a new approach to more closely align their operations with their capabilities for sharing technical and administrative processes. RESPEC introduced a client-engagement, design-center strategy—the Design Sprint methodology invented at Google Ventures—to quickly produce innovative pathways and solutions.

After our 5-day Design Sprint workshop with the UDFCD, RESPEC produced a clear vision of how digital platforms could be used to create a solution. The Design Sprint produced a digital prototype of the platform on Day 5 and successfully validated the desired outcome while producing a road map for how RESPEC could build a digital platform to integrate a wide range of technical and administrative functions.

RESPEC’s team mapped out a program of interactive web development to provide a Google Cloud-hosted platform and integrate a wide range of data, project management, engineering, planning, and administrative functions. By achieving the project goal, RESPEC gave the UDFCD and its partners real-time situational awareness of watershed conditions and plans to streamline the approval process and quickly identify opportunities for building funding partnerships. Built around an engaging, responsive, mobile-web experience, RESPEC’s digital solution design for the government agency offers the same speed and user experience of modern consumer applications.

In just 5 days, RESPEC helped the rapidly growing UDFCD to better perform its mission and serve the needs of decision makers for protecting people, property, and the environment. With broad applicability for industries that are becoming more digitally advanced, RESPEC services include innovative design practices combined with the modern web and cloud technologies across current and future vertical markets and specific locations.