• Viewpoint

Improving the state of aging buried infrastructure

Asset management is a key factor in building a more sustainable water future. Done right, asset management delivers savings, risk reductions and efficiency.

Celine Hyer

Technical Practice Leader, Coveyance 813 353 5731 Ask me a question

Risk-based planning brings down the total cost of water and sewer pipe rehabilitation and replacement.

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Well-managed assets can realize huge value, but using outdated approaches can result in under performance and loss.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:

  1. Reframing how you approach asset management
  2. Engaging resources that can help

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.

Click here to enlarge the recommendation snapshot

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.

Questions about this article

Celine Hyer

Technical Practice Leader, Coveyance 813 353 5731 Ask me a question

Arcadis White paper

Improving the current state of buried infrastructure

Download White Paper