Integrating Asset Management and the Community Rating System (Source: Water & Finance Management)
By Tak Makino
Infrastructure asset management is gaining widespread acceptance as a best management practice. Simply put, infrastructure asset management is the set of practices that balance the costs of operations and maintenance of public infrastructure with desired levels of service and a tolerable degree of risk. Asset management takes an integrative approach, combining models of financial planning, maintenance, and replacement to ensure that public infrastructure is managed in a fiscally prudent manner.
Often, asset management software integrates into geographic information system (GIS) software. It is critical to understand where assets exist when making decisions about assets. For example, if a section of roadway is due for repair, it is important to consider if there are underground utilities below the road. In that case, it is prudent to perform maintenance on the underground utilities ahead of schedule to avoid the cost of repairing a newly resurfaced roadway. If these public infrastructure assets are integrated into a GIS, these sorts of analyses can be performed.
If public infrastructure assets – specifically stormwater assets – are integrated into a GIS, the stage is set for using infrastructure asset management to support a Community Rating System program (CRS). Over the past decade, much has been written about asset management and its various benefits. However, one topic that hasn’t received much attention is how asset management can strengthen a city’s CRS program.
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