COMPREHENSIVE MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS FOR WATER AND WASTEWATER UTILITIES
Abstract:This paper presents some of the findings of a project focused on determining the potential for and value of applying utility management tools and programs in an integrated fashion to form a comprehensive, sustainable system that utilities can use to improve performance. The project was sponsored by the Association of Metropolitan Sewerage Agencies (AMSA), the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Water Environment Federation (WEF) to address challenges in the field of water and wastewater utility management. In Phase I of the project, a Workgroup of nine water and wastewater utility executives and four advisors from consulting firms examined 15 current and emerging management initiatives to evaluate the benefits of and options for integration. The Phase I report concluded that it is both feasible and desirable to both view and integrate utility management initiatives in the context of a continuous improvement management system. It noted the Workgroup's finding that continual improvement management systems are a well established and proven management approach that provide distinct advantages over conventional utility management methods. It also stressed the need for clear information for utility managers to explain the interrelationship of the many management initiatives and provide strategies for applying these initiatives in an integrated fashion to meet utility objectives. In Phase II of the project, a guide is being developed to help answer these very practical questions. The guide is being prepared by a design team of six utility managers with assistance from Ross & Associates Environmental Consulting Ltd. and CH2MHill (also the technical support team for the Phase I effort). The guide examines selected initiatives — environmental management systems (using the ISO EMS standard); Asset Management programs; cMOM (Capacity, Management, Operation, and Maintenance) programs; and the Partnership for Safe Water. It provides a description of selected initiatives; explains where and what integration opportunities exist; discusses practical implementation considerations; and presents case studies. This paper also describes plans to gain further insights and feedback from facilitated focus group meetings with utility managers based around the key findings from Phase I and the draft guide
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2003-01-01
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