The National Water Office requests help with updating the data


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An entity that is one of the six branches of the California Environmental Protection Agency is seeking help from IT vendors for a technology update.

In a request for proposals (RFP) released Wednesday, the California Department of Technology (CDT) on behalf of the California State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) issued the “Updating Water Rights Data (UPWARD)” solicitation. The two state entities are looking for “expertise and services” to update the “basic water rights data management system” of the board of directors; and propose “policy recommendations and investments to move to water use monitoring and real-time data collection”. Among the takeaways:

  • The council needs the new water rights data management system, UPWARD, to replace its electronic water rights information management system (eWRIMS) and report management system (RMS) existing. These typically “collect information on water rights reports, calculate fees associated with various types and processes of water rights, exchange data with internal and external data systems, keep records. digital data currently contained on paper and include features to help staff review the information, ”according to the RFP. Part of “competitive procurement” will be proof of concept (POC) and “negotiation sessions to ensure the Crown’s ability to obtain the most advantageous proposal based on the requirements and assessment factors stated” in the solicitation. It follows “a step-by-step approach that includes multiple submissions and evaluations to” identify the bidder who will ultimately develop UPWARD.
  • The solicitation is carried out via the public procurement code 6611 which, generally, allows negotiation with suppliers. According to the tender, this “gives the Crown and bidders an opportunity to discuss items that the Crown believes could improve the bidder’s proposal and its award potential.” Negotiations are not intended to allow a bidder to completely rewrite their proposal. Rather, they are “undertaken with the intention of allowing the bidder to revise its final proposal only in areas determined by the state during the negotiation process”. Negotiations can be oral or written. Competitive negotiation can, depending on the state, ensure that bidders can demonstrate that they can meet the state’s requirements; make sure the state is clear on how this will be done; and give bidders the opportunity to discuss responses and make corrections. The proposals are confidential until the issuance of the award notification.
  • A lack of quality assurance and control, according to the RFP, has led to inaccuracies in the data “up to 85% in some watersheds”, and although the board has the power to report to allow automatic downloads of “telemetric water usage data”, the current system is not ready for input and cannot integrate “real-time water usage data” . Other challenges with the existing system include a lack of integration of water use, location and time data; an inability to grow within “proprietary systems” and connect to other data systems; and a large volume of paper documents that are not accessible to the online system. Due to this and other issues, data is stored in multiple locations, some redundant, and it is not possible to access all records electronically and ensure / control quality on ‘mixed data sources’. “.
  • The proposed new system, UPWARD, will replace two existing solutions for collecting water rights declaration data, calculating fees associated with water rights types and processes, exchanging data with “internal and external data systems” , migrate data to digital; provide a unified location for all division data; and provide seamless interaction with digitized recordings. It should also offer “a new data quality assurance and control framework that is sustainable over the long term”, dashboards, maps and user-defined reports that can be customized; the ability to evolve; modified forms and web mapping interfaces “for reporters to provide meaningful data to the system” and real-time data availability.
  • The contract is for three years, with the state retaining the option of three additional one-year extensions for up to six years. A precise value is not indicated. The RFP is a three-phase “single competitive multi-stage procurement”. Usually, the most qualified Phase 1 bidders move on to Phase 2 after submission and evaluation of responses; the selected bidders move from phase 2 to phase 3 after constructions, responses and evaluations of the POC; and the successful bidder for phase 3 will be chosen after negotiation, best final offers (BAFO) and evaluation. Phase 1 responses are expected on January 28 at noon; Phase 2 responses are expected on April 22 at noon; and Phase 3 BAFOs are due at noon on June 3. Contract award is expected on June 24.

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