Asset management planning and reporting options for water utilities

Posted February 2006

By Mike Matichich, Jason Allen, and Robert Allen

Industry studies in recent years have raised awareness of the magnitude of asset renewal and replacement needs in the water industry, but little comparative work has been done on asset management. To help fill this gap, the AWWA Research Foundation sponsored the study summarized in this article (AWWA Journal, January 2006). The full study forms a “casebook” of comparative asset management options.

Eleven utilities of diverse sizes, asset ages, availability of automated information, and engagement in asset management worked with the project team to test and evaluate three levels of asset management planning: basic, high-end, and strategic.

The study results showed that even a basic asset management option has considerable value for a water utility. More advanced and strategic options require significant additional investment, but 80 percent of the utilities that participated in this project found the benefits to outweigh the costs and plan to implement programs that emulate these options.

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