Sustainable Infrastructure


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Presentation at the 2010 Rural Water Association of Utah by the Department of Environmental Quality

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Sustainable Infrastructure

  1. 1. Sustainable Infrastructure Overview What is Sustainability? What is Sustainable Infrastructure? EPA’s “Four Pillars” Approach EPA’ Pillars” The Five Keys to Management Success The Ten Attributes of Effectively Managed Water Utilities Sustainability: Sustainable Infrastructure: What is it? What is it? The ability to meet the needs of the present generation EPA 2007 Infrastructure Gap Analysis projects up to a without compromising the ability of future generations to $334.8 Billion gap between infrastructure needs and meet their needs. infrastructure funding by the year 2026 if funding - UN World Commission on Environment and Development remains at current levels (water system infrastructure only) Achieving a balance between human impacts and the The Sustainable Infrastructure Initiative seeks to promote practices that will reduce this funding gap: capacity of the natural world that can be sustained Addressing current needs in a timely manner indefinitely, taking into account three interdependent Identifying and implementing Best Management Practices to elements: address a variety of management challenges Implementing appropriate funding and investing in infrastructure The Environment Research & Development breakthroughs The Economy Innovative technologies The Social System - BC Roundtable “Towards Sustainability: Learning for Change” Change” Sustainable Infrastructure: Sustainable Infrastructure: How do we get it? Full-Cost Pricing Full- EPA’s “Four Pillars” Approach to EPA’ Pillars” Burden of investing in Water System Infrastructure and Sustainable Infrastructure O&M rests on the customer through: Water Rates Impact Fees Connection Fees Sustainable Infrastructure Efficiency and Equity Customers billed according to water used Watershed Approach Better Management Allows funding of Capital Improvement/Repair and Water Efficiency Full-Cost Pricing Replacement accounts 1
  2. 2. Sustainable Infrastructure: Sustainable infrastructure: Full-Cost Pricing Full- Better Management Drinking Water State Revolving Fund Program Focuses on implementing Best Management Practices Provides cost-effective means to fund system cost- Strategic Planning improvements while encouraging full-cost pricing rate full- Consolidation/Regionalization structures Asset Management Allows systems the opportunity to avoid delaying needed The “Five Core Questions” Questions” infrastructure improvements: Construction Cost Index and Building Cost Index increased by Environmental Management Systems more than 23% from 2003 through 2008 Encourage organizations to improve compliance, pollution prevention, and prevention, Construction wages increased by ~23% from 2001 through 2008 environmental performance and to promote greater environmental Delaying a project for 5 years can increase the total cost by as stewardship much as 20% or more Five Core Questions 1) What is the current state of my assets? 1) What do I own? 2) Where is it? 3) What condition is it in? 4) What is its remaining useful life? 5) What is its economic value? 2) What is my required sustained Level of Service? 1) What is the demand for my services from my customers? 2) What do regulators require? 3) What is my actual performance? Five Core Questions Sustainable Infrastructure: Water Efficiency 3) Which assets are critical to sustained performance? Reduces costs 1) How does it/can it fail? Running a faucet for 5 minutes uses about as much energy as 2) What is the likelihood of failure? running a 60-watt light bulb for 14 hours 60- 3) What does it cost to repair? 2008 EPA results show WaterSense fixtures saved: 9.38 billion gallons of water and 1 billion kWh of electricity 4) What are the consequences of failure? Prolongs infrastructure life 4) What are my best minimum life-cycle cost CIP & O&M life- strategies? 1) What alternative management options are there? Helps ensure continued availability of sufficient quantities of safe drinking water 2) Which of these are most feasible for my system? US population doubled from 1950 to 2000 US water consumption tripled, to an avg of 100 gpd/person gpd/person 5) What is my best long-term funding strategy? long- 2
  3. 3. Sustainable Infrastructure: Sustainable Infrastructure: Watershed Approach Watershed Approach Focus is on: Key decision makers take the opportunity to consider watershed-based, cost-effective Cleaner Water Sources alternatives in addition to traditional treatment Reduced Treatment Costs technology Reduced Wear and Tear on Infrastructure Look Beyond Traditional Geographic Boundaries Consider how water flows through the entire Partnerships based on Watershed Boundaries watershed when making infrastructure and Inter-Local Inter- Inter-State Inter- growth decisions Sustainable Infrastructure: Sustainable Infrastructure: Remove any of the “Four Pillars”, and… Pillars” and… The Five Keys 1. Leadership 2. Strategic Business Planning 3. Organizational Approaches 4. Measurement 5. Continual Improvement Management Sustainable Infrastructure: Sustainable Infrastructure: Leadership Strategic Business Planning Refers to: Aids the utility in achieving balance and cohesion Individuals Effective champions for improvement Provides a framework for decision making by: Teams Assessing current conditions, strengths, and Provide resilient day-to-day continuity & direction weaknesses Ensures: Assessing underlying causes and effects The utility’s direction is understood and followed Establishing vision, objectives, and strategies Communication with customers and other stakeholders Provides an Organizational Structure that: Establishes specific implementation steps Ensures the organization’s excellence Reinforces a culture that embraces positive change and continual improvement 3
  4. 4. Sustainable Infrastructure: Strategic Business Planning Provides a long-term view of goals and operations Drives and guides objectives, measurement efforts, investments and operations Explains goals, plans, and current conditions to employees, customers and other stakeholders Integrates progress tracking into the management framework Sustainable Infrastructure: Sustainable Infrastructure: Organizational Approaches Measurement Contribute to overall effective utility management Critical to management improvement efforts Necessary to management improvement efforts The backbone of successful continual improvement Actively engaging employees in improvement efforts management and strategic business planning Implement processes that anticipate and plan for change Serves many important purposes: Encourages staff at all levels to embrace positive Focuses attention on key issues change Clarifies expectations Implementation strategies that recognize and Facilitates decision making celebrate all victories Facilitates learning and improving Sustainable Infrastructure: Sustainable Infrastructure: Measurement Continual Improvement “You can’t improve Includes: what you don’t measure.” Honest/Comprehensive self-assessment to identify strengths, weaknesses, and priorities Frequent sessions to identify improvement Internal Performance Measurement opportunities Evaluates current performance status and trends Following up on current improvement projects Compares outcomes relative to goals and objectives Implementing performance measures and internal Benchmarking targets Comparison of similar measures across institutions to: Implementing related operational requirements, Identify Best Practices practices, and procedures Set improvement targets Measure progress within or across sectors 4
  5. 5. Sustainable Infrastructure: Sustainable Infrastructure: Continual Improvement The Ten Attributes Includes: 1. Product Quality 6. Infrastructure Stability Establishing supporting roles and responsibilities 2. Customer Satisfaction 7. Operational Resiliency Implementing measurement activities through regular 3. Employee and 8. Community evaluations and audits Leadership Sustainability Responding to evaluations, including implementing Development 9. Water Resource recommendations PLAN 4. Operational Adequacy Optimization 10. Stakeholder 5. Financial Viability Understanding and ACT DO Support CHECK Sustainable Infrastructure: Sustainable Infrastructure: The Ten Attributes The Ten Attributes Provide useful and concise points for Utilities can use the Attributes to select performance improvement priorities for improvement projects Describe desired outcomes applicable to all No order, no hierarchy – work on the Attributes water systems that best meet the utility’s needs utility’ A comprehensive framework relating to Should be viewed as opportunities for Operations Infrastructure improving management and operations Customer Satisfaction Community Welfare Resource Stewardship Financial Performance Sustainable Infrastructure: Product Quality The utility produces potable water in full compliance with regulatory requirements and consistent with customer, public health, and ecological needs. 5
  6. 6. Sustainable Infrastructure: Sustainable Infrastructure: Customer Satisfaction Employee/Leadership Development The utility recruits and retains a competent, The utility provides reliable, responsive, and motivated, adaptive, safety-minded workforce. safety- affordable services according to customer accepted service levels. The utility establishes a participatory, collaborative organization dedicated to continual learning The utility receives timely customer feedback to and improvement. maintain responsiveness to customer needs and emergencies. The utility ensures employee institutional knowledge is retained and improved upon over time. Sustainable Infrastructure: Knowledge Management Employee/Leadership Development 35% of workforce is within a few years of retirement The utility emphasizes opportunities for Explicit vs. Tacit (institutional) knowledge professional and leadership development. Tacit knowledge tends to leave with the employee The utility strives to create an integrated, Often takes 5-10 years for an employee to 5- well-coordinated senior leadership team. well- become a Subject Matter Expert (SME) Succession Planning is critical Sustainable Infrastructure: Sustainable Infrastructure: Operational Optimization Financial Viability The utility ensures performance improvements The utility understands the full life-cycle cost of life- that are ongoing, timely, cost-effective, cost- delivering its product. reliable, and sustainable. The utility maintains a balance between long- long- The utility minimizes resource use, loss and term debt, asset value, O&M expenses, and impacts due to day-to-day operations. day- to- revenue. The utility is aware of informational and The utility has established rates that cover the technical developments and anticipates and actual cost of delivering the product. supports timely adoption of improvements. 6
  7. 7. Sustainable Infrastructure: Sustainable Infrastructure: Infrastructure Stability Operational Resiliency The utility understands the condition and costs of critical system infrastructure. The utility assures that management and staff work together to anticipate and avoid The utility maintains/enhances the long-term long- problems. condition of assets at the lowest possible life- life- cycle cost and acceptable risk. The utility proactively identifies, assesses, and establishes tolerance levels for and manages The utility assures that asset business risks. replacement/repair efforts are coordinated to minimize disruptions to the community. Sustainable Infrastructure: Community Sustainability The utility is aware of and attentive to the impacts its decisions have on current and long- long- term community and watershed health. The utility manages operations, infrastructure, and investments to protect, restore, and enhance the natural environment. The utility efficiently uses water and energy resources. Sustainable Infrastructure: Sustainable Infrastructure: Community Sustainability Water Resource Adequacy The utility promotes economic vitality and The utility employs resource supply and engenders overall community improvement. demand analyses, conservation, and public education to ensure current and long-term long- The utility considers a variety of pollution water availability. prevention, watershed, and source protection approaches as part of an overall strategy to The utility considers its role in water availability maintain and enhance ecological and and manages operations to provide for long-long- community sustainability. term aquifer/surface water sustainability and replenishment. 7
  8. 8. Sustainable Infrastructure: The “Current State” Nationally Stakeholder Understanding/Support Water/wastewater utilities are facing The utility fosters understanding and support unprecedented challenges from all stakeholders (citizens, regulators, etc.) -- aging infrastructure and workforce for expected service levels, rate structures, -- continuing regulatory challenges operating budgets, capital improvement -- unclear prospects for future federal funding projects, and risk management decisions. -- increasing customer and community demands for service The utility actively involves stakeholders in the -- short-term perspective of elected officials short- decisions that will affect them. The list goes continues . . . The “Current State” Nationally The “Current State” Nationally More attention being paid to utility management The world is changing—traditional changing— but no common framework other than approaches focused solely on compliance regulatory compliance are not enough Utility managers faced with many choices which often breeds confusion Collaboration is the key—challenges are key— too large and stakes too high to operate Question before EPA and industry: Is there a way to pull it all together and move toward any differently sustainable utility management? Sustainability is the ultimate goal! EPA support and recognition can add a lot What’s the Long-Term Vision? Recommendations Engage and prepare staff for Cultural Attributes, Keys to Management Success, and Change Performance Measures accepted as the norm,norm, Involve all stakeholders early not the exception Look for Quick Wins Utilities, regulators, and others united around a System Size: Scale the program to fit your common management framework for defining operation excellence Improvement is a long and continuous Utility excellence recognized and rewarded by process, get started and don’t feel don’ communities, regulators, and others overwhelmed by the task He who moves a mountain, begins by moving small Water and wastewater operations and stones. infrastructure are sustainable in the future Chinese Proverb Strive for Best Practices 8
  9. 9. ? ?? Questions ?? ? Division of Drinking Water ? Kenneth E. Wilde, P.E. - Manager ? ? Construction Assistance Section ? ? ? ? ? (801)536-0048 (801)536- Michael Grange, P.E. – Environmental ? ? Engineer ? ? ? (801) 536-0069 536- 9