The Economic Benefits of Infrastructure Investment, Part I: Making the Case

The Economic Benefits of Infrastructure Investment, Part I: Making the Case

It is abundantly clear that our nation is not making adequate investments in infrastructure. As noted previously by another writer here, the American Society of Civil Engineers’ 2013 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure gave U.S. infrastructure a cumulative grade of D+. The ASCE estimates that an investment of $3.6 trillion is needed by 2020 to fund maintenance [...]

Preparing for Change: Assessing Infrastructure Vulnerability

Preparing for Change: Assessing Infrastructure Vulnerability

Climate change is a looming concern for many municipalities and utilities nationwide, particularly those in coastal areas. Infrastructure near coastlines is most immediately vulnerable to rising sea levels, and some states are predicted to lose large amounts of wetlands as water encroaches farther inland than it has in recent history. Extreme weather intensifies the already [...]

Posted in: Environment, Water
December 8, 2014
Outsourcing Can Save Overextended EHS Departments

Outsourcing Can Save Overextended EHS Departments

With all the demands on an organization’s time, it makes sense for certain functions to be outsourced. For areas like facility maintenance, outsourcing is an obvious choice, but many don’t consider outsourcing Environmental, Health, and Safety (EHS) programs. Research institutions, healthcare companies, and universities, among others, incur substantial costs from maintaining their EHS programs each [...]

November 18, 2014
Rate Setting Strategy Provides Long-Term Benefits to Utilities

Rate Setting Strategy Provides Long-Term Benefits to Utilities

For many communities, the only time much thought is given to utilities is when there’s a problem. If a utility performs its services seamlessly, it goes unnoticed. The ability to do this depends on adequate funding. Many utility programs are still being funded by local property tax, but this system is proving unsustainable; as improvement [...]

Posted in: Water
October 23, 2014
Utility Organizational Assessment: a Key to Efficiency and Success

Utility Organizational Assessment: a Key to Efficiency and Success

Utilities today are faced with a number of issues, like changes in populations and workforce, increased costs, and aging infrastructure. One thing that shouldn’t be a concern is whether your organization is as effective as it can be. Many utilities rank organizational issues along with infrastructure and finances as their top challenges. An organizational assessment [...]

October 16, 2014
4 Steps to Creating a Utility Succession Plan

4 Steps to Creating a Utility Succession Plan

Within the next two decades, over 70 million baby boomers, who make up the majority of the utility workforce, will reach retirement age. It is estimated that some organizations will lose 50% of their current employees to retirement alone, which could leave public utilities in crisis. The effect of this retirement wave is already being [...]

Posted in: Water
October 14, 2014
Effective Asset Management: Using Existing Tools to Support Investments

Effective Asset Management: Using Existing Tools to Support Investments

Municipalities spend billions of dollars every year on important investments in infrastructure to create healthier environments for their communities. Unfortunately, making the initial investment is only the first step of the process in creating productive and useful assets. The next step is to support existing assets with adequate maintenance, efficient business practices, and sound long-term [...]

October 9, 2014
Why Construction Management at Risk is the Right Choice for One Connecticut Community

Why Construction Management at Risk is the Right Choice for One Connecticut Community

In June 2011, the town of Montville, Connecticut signed an agreement with Rand-Whitney Containerboard, a producer of paperboard products, stipulating that the town would help the company seek ways to improve its system for the treatment of highly acidic, chemical wastewater. Though the town explored the option of retaining Rand-Whitney’s existing treatment system, an independent [...]

Posted in: Water
October 1, 2014
New Law Makes Significant Changes to Clean Water State Revolving Fund

New Law Makes Significant Changes to Clean Water State Revolving Fund

This past June, President Obama signed the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA) into law. According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, it is “the first major water resources bill in seven years and is being applauded by organizations across the spectrum.” The law funds projects to maintain America’s ports, levees, dams, and harbors [...]

Posted in: Water
September 29, 2014
The Benefits of Using Mobile Technology for Data Collection and Reporting

The Benefits of Using Mobile Technology for Data Collection and Reporting

Many utilities today are using paper forms to collect data. That presents some serious problems. Notes coming in from the field are often hard to read and data can be inconsistent. Add to that the frequent occurrence of manual entry errors, and suddenly, your utility has a data problem. To make matters worse, these same [...]

September 22, 2014