-- from the publication, Managing Public Infrastructure Assets
Assets are the most expensive sources that a community can own, maintain and upkeep. Asset Management is a tool that can be used to help assure that utility services are provided in a sustainable, cost-effective way. It helps in making sound decisions by answering questions about what we do, how we do it, when we do it, where we invest, what our costs are, and what our return is.
Asset Management is a proven method whose techniques have been refined by the international community, particularly in Australia and New Zealand. NM EFC began working with Asset Management in 2003. In 2006, at the request of EPA, the NM EFC director traveled to New Zealand and Australia to study Asset Management. We have worked with systems from the very small to the very large and have provided many trainings on Asset Management to local, state and tribal governments and to the EPA.
Five Core Components of Asset Management
The NM EFC has created what we believe to be the first state-wide Asset Management User Group in the United States. These groups have been a key to the continued success and improvement of the A.M. programs in Australia and New Zealand. The group meetings are facilitated by A.M. trainers and allow participants to share experiences, successes, challenges, and future opportunities with one another. This type of peer-to-peer interaction enhances Asset Management and ensures its continued success. The group is open to any water or wastewater system that is doing Asset Management at any level, and even to those interested in starting Asset Management who would just like an opportunity to discuss the successes and challenges with those who might be further down the road. The group meets twice per year in different locations throughout the state. If you are interested in finding out about this group, contact Susan Butler at firstname.lastname@example.org or 505-924-7034.
Funding Agencies and Asset Management
Decreasing funds and increasing project costs require funding agencies to be well informed when allocating limited funds. Funding agencies want to fund sustainable projects and ensure that repair, replacement, and O&M budgets are well thought-out. Reflecting these needs, the NM CDBG Rules and Regulations now include Asset Management as a criterion for assessing applications, and an Asset Management Plan can be worth 10 points on the application. This provides a powerful incentive in the competitive world of funding applications. With an Asset Management Plan in place, communities can show funding agencies that they won't be in need of additional money due to poor planning, and funding agencies can verify that the community understands what they are getting through a Level of Service Agreement.
Click here to access information on the EPA website for upcoming asset management workshops and other materials.
For more information, check these related documents:
Show Me Rate-Maker (Excel rate-setting software)
Instructions for Asset Management Database
Asset Management IQ Printable
Order form for A.M. Kan Work! Print + DVDs
Order form for A.M. Kan Work! DVDs only
Environmental Finance Advisory Board|
EPA Environmental Finance Program
EPA Region 6 Drinking Water Program
Rocky Mountain Environmental Finance Center