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Strategic Water Resources Master Planning Guides the Implementation of Clayton County's Capital Improvement Program

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Since 1960, the Clayton County Water Authority (CCWA) has strived to be a “best-in-class” utility and has regularly developed ten-year master plans to identify and manage infrastructure needs and regulatory challenges. These master planning efforts have helped CCWA meet the community's needs while maintaining a high level of customer satisfaction at a reasonable cost to its customers. At the time the Authority began work on a 2010 CCWA Strategic Master Plan in 2009, the primary objective of the most recent master plan, “Water Resources Initiative 2000”, was to plan for growth, to provide efficient service, and to reclaim water. Since the adoption of the 2000 master plan, CCWA has completed capital projects totaling more than 200 million.

As CCWA began the development of the 2010 plan, it became clear that the Water Authority would need to take a different approach for two basic reasons: (1) CCWA met the majority of its large infrastructure needs through Water Resources Initiative 2000 and (2) the 2007 drought and the local/national economic downturn that began in late 2008 have led to a short- term reduction in the demand for CCWA's services. Taken together, CCWA decided to take a strategic approach to the 2010 master plan focusing on maintaining CCWA's infrastructure investments to meet the community's needs while striving to become more efficient in all aspects of operations.

This paper will provide a summary of the master planning process that resulted from this approach. Elements of the planning process included close coordination with the Authority's goals and the elements of effective utility management, enhanced prioritization to demonstrate the value added by individual candidate projects toward meeting the Authority's goals, and cash flow analyses and models that were used to help set financially achievable schedules for the recommended capital projects. The paper will show how these master planning outputs were used directly in helping to determine a funding program for the identified projects, establish the annual capital budget and long-term CIP implementation strategy.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2011-01-01

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