While concrete data may be lacking, there is no doubt that water agencies of all sizes are implementing asset management programs like never before, said Duncan Rose, principal consultant and technical director of asset management for GHD.

Rose, speaking Nov. 28 at the “Asset Management: Bridging the Gap Between Theory and Practice” conference, sponsored by Benjamin Media Inc., told participants that hundreds of water utilities have initiated formal asset management programs in the last two years alone, while hundreds more are gearing up.

He added that many of the programs are still in the early stages, although the level of sophistication is steadily advancing, and that many of the initial activities have revolved around inventory, condition assessment, risk and capital improvement planning. He identified emerging areas as development of best practices regarding renewal of buried infrastructure, reliability centered maintenance, integrating asset management principles with facilities planning and enterprise asset management systems.

Rose was one of 14 speakers that included recognized industry leaders Steve Allbee (EPA), Ken Harlow (Brown and Caldwell), Jack Ravan (WASIR) and Roy Herwig (Parsons Brinckerhoff). Other speakers included: William Adams (CDM), Hatem El-Sayegh (Jordan, Jones and Goulding), Clare Brown (City of Atlanta), Jim Davis (New Dimension Solutions), Sunil Sinha (Virginia Tech), Richard Thomasson (Parsons Brinckerhoff), Casey Smith (CES), John Fletcher (Duke’s Root Control) and Ann Casey (Black & Veatch).

During the luncheon keynote address, Ravan related his experience as Atlanta’s first commissioner of the Department of  Watershed Management, and the hardships the city and Mayor Shirley Franklin faced meeting the terms of a federal consent decree.

This conference was part of the Underground Infrastructure Management Conference Series. It was held at the InterContinental Buckhead in Atlanta.

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