Asset Management 101

Asset Management 101

Operating a utility system comes with a host of daily challenges like handling new connections and addressing unexpected disruptions in service. The challenges increase significantly as utility infrastructure ages, workforces retire, and utility system data becomes outdated or lost. Asset management is the process of coming to grips with these challenges by inventorying the assets in a system and coming up with a plan to operate, maintain, and replace or upgrade them. WithersRavenel is here to discuss asset management 101 and answer your questions about creating and funding an asset management plan.

What is an asset management plan?

An asset management plan is a long-range planning document that accomplishes five goals:

  1. Identifying the assets in a system
  2. Evaluating their current condition
  3. Determining the likelihood and consequences of their failure
  4. Estimating the cost and schedule of rehabilitation or replacement
  5. Establishing a schedule for performing maintenance and upgrades

Why do I need one?

  • To anticipate the real service life of water, wastewater, and stormwater assets
  • To predict the location and severity of asset failure
  • To budget personnel and funds for asset rehabilitation and replacement
  • To identify opportunities for synergy among multiple asset rehabilitation or replacement projects, including projects across multiple systems
  • To provide visual depictions of the assets and/or improvements for use in presentations to key decision-makers

How do I create an asset management plan?

There are nine steps to creating an asset management plan:

  1. Determine the status of all sources of utility system data
  2. Design a new GIS database or update an existing database to capture utility system data
  3. Perform field data collection
  4. Create GIS connectivity
  5. Perform a utility condition assessment
  6. Complete a risk matrix
  7. Complete a decision matrix
  8. Determine financial viability and plan
  9. Write the asset management plan

How can I afford to fund a plan or the recommended improvements?

There are multiple ways to fund an asset management plan:

  • Budget line item
  • Rate adjustments
  • Capital reserve fund
  • Loans and grants
  • Savings from improved system efficiency

How can WithersRavenel help with an asset management plan?

WithersRavenel’s Funding & Asset Management Team focuses on creating, managing, and funding utility systems. They can help with all of the steps of creating and implementing an asset management plan, including identifying and securing sources of funding.

Contact Director of Funding & Asset Management Seth Robertson, PE to get started on an asset management plan today!