When asked the single biggest driver of wider use of asset management by water utilities, 39% of respondents indicate significant needs in the industry to replace, upgrade or expand existing infrastructure, and 25% regard the need to determine capital investment and maintenance strategies and budgets as most important.
"A lot of people think of asset management as being about the infrastructure itself. While the focus starts there, it is much more holistic than that," said
, CH2M HILL director, management and strategic consulting. "It really is a way of doing business. It involves organizational, operational and decision-making changes."
In addition to helping utilities focus on priorities, asset management practices increase the ability to explain and defend budget and investment proposals to governing bodies, and help leadership better understand the risk and consequence of alternative investments, Haskins notes.
The study provides a unique approach for measuring asset management adoption by defining asset management practitioners by the activities they are currently using rather than by their own assessment of their practice. Based on this approach, 65% of the survey respondents are asset management practitioners (those doing four or more asset management practices out of the 14 practices provided in the survey.)
The 2013 Water Infrastructure Asset Management study was completed in conjunction with five industry associations that reviewed the survey and distributed it to their members: American Public Works Association, American Water Works Association, National Association of Clean Water Agencies, National Association of Water Companies and Water Environment Federation. The study included 451 respondents from the U.S. and
, from utilities ranging from those serving a minimum population of 3,300 to a population of over 500,000.
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