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ASSET MANAGEMENT: A FAD OR THE FUTURE?

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Abstract:

By their nature, U.S. water and wastewater utilities are asset-intensive service providers. Even small or mid-sized utilities can have hundreds of millions of dollars invested in their infrastructure assets. With an increasing awareness of the huge reinvestment needs for fraying infrastructure, tightening budgets, changing accounting requirements (GASB 34), and regulatory pressure (e.g., CMOM), holistic asset management (AM) is gaining increasing acceptance within the U.S. public sector.

However, there is significant uneasiness among some utility managers, staff at large, and policymakers stemming from their experiences with prior improvement initiatives which have failed to yield expected benefits or gain broad organizational support and sustained commitment. Further, the concepts of accountability and measurement, which are central to AM, can be intimidating to some, especially those who must be thoroughly committed for this initiative to succeed.

So is asset management “just another fad,” or is it the future of U.S. utilities?

This paper, through actual case studies, demonstrates that asset management yields tangible and significant benefits when applied across an entire organization. The paper also distinguishes asset management from some other improvement initiatives undertaken by U.S. utilities over the last several years.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2175/193864704784132409

Publication date: January 1, 2004

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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