Asset management is a key factor in building a more sustainable water future. Done right, asset management delivers savings, risk reductions and efficiency.
Water is a lifeline sector because its functions are essential to the core operations of other critical sectors, such as food and agriculture, healthcare and public health, and manufacturing. Despite this, some of the water systems in the U.S. were constructed over a century ago, and these aging and degraded assets lead to approximately 240,000 water pipe breaks each year, a number likely to increase over the next 30 years if aggressive programs are not in place.
Addressing the challenges
In its essence, asset management is about streamlining processes, improving business performance, and creating a line of sight between a company’s strategy and the activities carried out across the organization. For asset management programs to successfully address the challenges posed by aging water buried infrastructure, they must present a strong business case that quantifies expected benefits – done right, asset management delivers savings, risk reductions, and efficiency.
By 2020 the infrastructure funding gap is expected to reach $84.4 Billion and then continue to increase over the coming decade.
Creating a sustainable water future
Well-managed assets can realize huge value, but using outdated approaches can result in under performance and loss. Whether utilities have a mature asset management program or are just getting started, the solution to creating a sustainable water future should consider:
Effective asset management is crucial to ensuring long-term performance and unlocking value. Both public and private organizations will have to effectively plan and optimize their assets to remain competitive, and the magnitude of the prize for those who succeed is vast. The Recommendation Snapshot below highlights six critical elements of a successful asset management program as well as their application to utilities.
Engaging resources that can help
To address the aging water and wastewater buried infrastructure challenge, utilities, agencies, academia, consultants and technology providers must come together and share their knowledge, experience and ongoing research from within and outside the U.S. Doing so will provide utilities with information they need to build an asset management program rooted in research, innovation and practicality, and with access to a network of professionals who can relate and help.
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