Infrastructure Asset Management Readiness Assessment of Ontario Municipal Water Utilities
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The safety and quality of services provided by municipal water utilities depend on sound water and wastewater infrastructure. Nevertheless, according to the 2016 Canadian Infrastructure Report Card, about 12% of this infrastructure is in poor or very poor condition, representing CA$51 billion in asset replacement value. Infrastructure Asset Management (IAM) is a strategic approach that encourages municipalities to take into account long-term analysis to set priorities for asset-related decisions. The Province of Ontario has developed regulations and guidelines to broadly implement municipal Asset Management Plans (AMPs). However, the existence of an AMP does not guarantee reliable IAM. For assets to be properly managed, water utilities must have processes in place to base decisions on technical and financial information, that consider assets’ life cycle and levels of service. The adoption of IAM processes can be measured by a readiness assessment. The main purpose of this study is to assess the current asset management readiness level of Ontario municipal water utilities, while providing direction and support for the development of policies and guidelines. Additionally, it investigates whether AMPs are sources of information for evidence-based decision-making. The Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ Asset Management Readiness Scale, the ISO 5000 series, and the Ontario Regulation 588/17 were adapted and used as a framework for a voluntary web-based survey. Data was provided by 31 municipalities representing 51% of the Ontario population. Respondents are classified into four readiness levels (RLs) – RL 1, RL 2, RL 3, and RL 4 – according to five competency areas: (1) policy and governance; (2) people and leadership; (3) data and information; (4) planning and decision-making; and (5) contribution to asset management practice. Readiness level results varied between 0.17 and 1.18 for small, medium and large municipalities, on a scale of 0 to 3. Additional results provide insights regarding levels of service, communication of key IAM information, funding gaps, service fees, and climate change aspects considered in asset management planning.
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Anelisa Silva Schmidt Zucco (2020). Infrastructure Asset Management Readiness Assessment of Ontario Municipal Water Utilities. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/15670