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Join UESI Asset Management Division

Friday, August 9, 2019

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The Utility Asset Management (UAM) Division was established in December 2017 to advance and disseminate knowledge related to the holistic life-cycle asset management of utility infrastructure. UAM support's the goal of Utility Engineering and Surveying Institute (UESI) to provide leadership to utilities for effectively managing their infrastructure systems to be reliable, resilient and sustainable. While there are many infrastructure categories, UAM will focus first on water and energy and then expand as the membership grows. UAM also provides expert leadership that supports ASCE's American Infrastructure Report Card and the Grand Challenge of reducing life cycle costs.

The ASCE Infrastructure Report Card is updated every four years and assigns simple A to F letter grades that provide a revealing look at the progress - or lack of progress - in sustaining America's infrastructure. The Report Card is comprehensive, evaluating roads and bridges as well as transit, rail, dams, levees, drinking water and wastewater treatment, distribution and collection systems, inland ports, aviation and other major infrastructure categories. Additionally, ASCE provides an overview and comparison of the same infrastructure categories for individual states. The current grade for the nation's Drinking Water Report Card is a "D" with over $538 Billion required for State Drinking Water needs over the next 20 years. UAM can provide an asset management framework and guidelines to help utilities improve their current grade.

ASCE also issued its "Grand Challenge," a call to action for the entire civil engineering profession to increase the value and capacity of infrastructure and increase and optimize infrastructure investments by transforming the way we plan, deliver, operate, and maintain our nation's infrastructure.  Central to the Grand Challenge is a commitment to rethinking what's possible through life cycle cost assessments, innovation, performance-based standards, and enhanced resiliency, with the goal of reducing the life cycle cost of infrastructure by 50 percent by 2025 for a $3T infrastructure gap for all infrastructure systems/domains. In order to do this, an infrastructure asset management approach provides the framework to systematically manage various assets and determine their lowest life cycle costs as part of the total cost of ownership.

The Water Infrastructure Asset Management (WIAM) Committee focuses on the development of fundamental and advanced water asset management practices. This committee provides thought leadership and advice on how utilities can better manage their water assets, improve levels of service, and reduce life cycle costs.

Work of committee will cover the following guiding principles:

 

  • Fundamental and Advanced Asset Management Practices
  • Asset Management Plan Development and Implementation
  • Performance, Sustainability and Resiliency Management
  • Infrastructure Data Analytics and Decision Sciences
  • Infrastructure Economics and Life-cycle Cost Analysis
  • Holistic Life-cycle Infrastructure Asset Management
  • Reducing life-cycle cost of utility assets - Grand Challenge

UAM will help utilities manage their assets (both buried and above ground) and optimize their capital investments using holistic life-cycle asset management concepts by generating and disseminating information and knowledge that may take the form of data and educational information on best practices for: 

  • Preparing asset inventories; Evaluating asset condition and predicting failures:
  • Setting levels of service goals; Developing likelihood, consequence and risk of failure; Determining residual life, life cycle costs, rehabilitation/renewal; Prioritizing projects based on value; Optimizing maintenance activities;  
  • Developing strategies for managing information to support resilient and sustainable utility infrastructure. 
  • The use of asset management plans to justify and secure the appropriate levels of asset maintenance, renewal and replacement funding.
  • Embracing change management and continuous business process improvement.

Efforts will include bridging the gaps between engineering, operations and maintenance, information technology/GIS and finance disciplines to develop integrated collaborative strategies.

Current efforts include the following standing committees: Water Infrastructure Asset Management (WIAM) Committee and Energy Infrastructure Asset Management (EIAM) Committee.

Join UAM and one of the committees to promote new approaches, materials, and technologies to ensure our infrastructure is more resilient in order to more quickly recover from significant weather and other hazard events and to be more sustainable by improving the "triple bottom line" with clear economic, social, and environmental benefits.

Fill out the committee application form

Contact Greg Baird, Utility Asset Management Executive Committee Vice-chair, for more information.