ASSET MANAGEMENT FOR SUSTAINABLE SERVICE DELIVERY: “As an industry, we have done a very poor job of educating our community on stormwater infrastructure issues, especially on the connection between cost of service and level of service,” wrote Hal Clarkson, Certified Asset Management professional

Note to Reader:

Hal Clarkson, PE, has worked in stormwater management for 38 years and is a Certified Asset Management, International, and Certified Floodplain Manager. He is based in Columbia, South Carolina. The post below comprises highlights extracted from his recent Blog.

The approach that Hal Clarkson advocates aligns with the approach that is being implemented in British Columbia through the work of Asset Management BC. The vision for doing business differently is described in its precedent-setting guidance document titled Asset Management for Sustainable Service Delivery: A BC Framework. The incentive for changing practices is provided by the grant application criteria for federal-provincial funding of infrastructure projects.

Time is Now to Implement Risk-Based Asset Management for Stormwater Infrastructure

“Our community officials and citizens often do not understand how a drainage system works or the effort required to keep it functioning at an acceptable level of service,” wrote Hal Clarkson.

“As an industry, we have done a very poor job of educating our community on stormwater infrastructure issues, especially on the connection between cost of service and level of service.

“There is an answer, but it requires a shift in how we as a public works industry do business—and, even more so, it requires a shift in our industry’s mindset.

“Communities must determine the desired level of service that they want the drainage system to achieve….and the real cost of providing that level of service.

“Deriving the system value and level-of-service costs can be a relatively simple exercise. However, changing the culture and mindset of public works departments and citizens is much more complex.

“(The public works) industry must move to a risk-based approach to stormwater infrastructure maintenance. We must embrace and develop robust asset management programs for stormwater.

“As much as everyone would like it, there is not a quick, cheap fix to our infrastructure issues. Building an asset management program is a process.

“The reactive approach that has been used for multiple decades is just digging a deeper hole.

“The time to change is now,” concludes Hal Clarkson.

To Learn More:

To read the complete article by Hal Clarkson, download a PDF copy of Time is Now to Implement Risk-Based Asset Management for Stormwater Infrastructure