ARTICLE: Getting the Most from Infrastructure Assets: Ecological Accounting Protocol (published in Asset Management BC Newsletter, September 2016)

Note to Reader:

This article is the second in a 2-part series by Tim Pringle, Chair, Ecological Accounting Protocol Initiative, Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC. The earlier article, titled Getting the Most from Infrastructure Assets: the idea of ecological accounting (AMBC Newsletter Issue No. 16, February 2016) introduced the concept for the Ecological Accounting Protocol (EAP) as an asset management tool. The current article outlines how the EAP would work. 

The graphic below illustrates where the EAP would fit within the provincial framework for Living Water Smart and Building Greener Communities. Application of the EAP would enable local governments to progress along the Asset Management Continuum for Sustainable Service Delivery (scroll down) to achieve “Sustainable Watershed Systems” (AMBC Newsletter Issue No. 17, June 2016)


Watersheds as Infrastructure Assets

“The Ecological Accounting Protocol (EAP) is an economic tool to make real the notion of ‘watersheds as infrastructure assets’. Practitioners would use it to determine whether or not drawing services from natural assets for drainage infrastructure makes financial sense. It would enable practitioners to price expenditures or avoided expenditures that occur in such contexts,” explains Tim Pringle.

Tim Pringle_March2014_120pIt follows that potential capital expenditures for engineered services and those drawn from natural assets could be compared.  Practitioners could determine the optimum balance of these options.  Such design of infrastructure services offers enhanced protection of watershed hydrology (and ecology) as well as lower life-cycle costs for the assets.”

“The EAP is a natural extension of asset management with the inclusion of the value and costs associated with the use of natural assets. The EAP would allow Asset Managers and Owners to see a more complete picture of value and future costs and the resulting funding required for Operating and Maintenance of the components of the watershed that begin as a Natural Asset and are converted into infrastructure to save initial capital construction costs.”

To Learn More:

Download Getting the Most from Infrastructure Assets: Ecological Accounting Protocol to read the complete article by Tim Pringle.

Download OP-ED: On Sharing a Vision for “Sustainable Watershed Systems, through Asset Management” to read the article co-authored by Kim Stephens and Wally Wells, and published in June 2016

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