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This paper describes the Business Case Evaluation (BCE) process of the Department of Water Resources in Gwinnett County, Georgia. The Department has recently implemented this formal process as a part of a new Advanced Asset Management Program. This paper details how the Department involved numerous staff members from various disciplines in the process to perform a complex business case evaluation to determine the location and timing of the next future increment of wastewater treatment capacity.

The Gwinnett County Department of Water Resources maintains and operates the water, sewer, and storm water utility systems in rapidly growing Gwinnett County, Georgia. In 2005 the Department began the implementation of a formalized Advanced Asset Management Program. The goals for this program are to more effectively and efficiently make management decisions for these utility systems based on financial, environmental and social impacts.

One of the first initiatives in this new program was the training of internal staff to perform formal Business Case Evaluations on capital and operating decisions. In the past, many large dollar capital decisions were made based on informal analyses of identified problems, at times leading to capital investments with possible high life cycle cost implications. The goal is to eventually develop an innate mindset within the Department, where every identified problem is analyzed thoroughly using formal business criteria. This process is needed to present accurate life cycle and risk information to decision makers and to fully document the entire decision process.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2007-01-01

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