Tag Archive | asset management

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asset management cpu

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Dealing with Aging Water Utilities of the US through Infrastructure Asset Management

aging water infrastructure US

Most of the water infrastructure of the US were constructed in late 1940s and therefore they are old. Aging water utilities are weak and vulnerable to leaks and failures, which may be caused by natural and mad-made stimuli.

Considering that majority of the water pipes in the US were embedded at the close of World War II, then a considerable percentage of these are nearing the end of their useful life.

The benchmark report of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2002 published that some water systems lose 60% of water due to pipe leaks. According to the report many cities are experiencing water delivery loses.

This problem has not been addressed totally for some technical and financial reasons. The aging water utilities of the US presents threat to the community’s health and lifestyle.

Leakages through the pipe walls and joints are sources of contamination. Also, the force of leaking water may cause soil erosion or block water delivery.

Just imagine the impact of contaminated water to health. Also, the loss of water affects industries and business operations. When water supply is diminished due to old and defective water conduits, households are gravely affected in terms of domestic use such as cooking, gardening and preparing for going to school or offices.

What adds to the problem is the lack of infrastructure management plan. As the days, months and years go by, without intervention soon, the aging water utilities will deteriorate from “very poor” to “failure” condition. If failure happens, city councils and local governments will be in pandemonium trying to solve the causes and effects of water infrastructure failure.

The cost of restoring old water infrastructure into good condition is high. Implementing a substantial and aggressive intervention to resuscitate an old and dying water system is very expensive. Thus, coming up with a plan is one good strategy that utility administrators and infrastructure management engineers may consider doing.

Leaders who are not convinced of the importance of making an infrastructure asset management plan have the tendency to only look at the cost of making one. We cannot blame them for perceiving making an asset management strategy as merely an expensive exercise because times are hard and the negative economic situation is far from over.

Yes, it may involve expense but they should also consider that instituting a system that would make water asset management sustainable in decades to come is a wise venture.

EPA in their “The Clean Water and Drinking Water Infrastructure Gap Analysis in 2002” and GAO (General Accounting Office) in their “Water Infrastructure” study mention the absence of better water asset management in water utilities operation and maintenance.

The state or the local governments could opt to invest on decision-making software and engage consultants to guide them in planning and executing a working asset management plan. Because there are many available outstanding asset management software programs, evaluating what would work best for the current situation is necessary.

This may entail searching for qualified and experienced professionals who could expertly guide through the local asset managers in creating and implementing the water infrastructure management plan of action.

It might cost a considerable amount of money but the primary benefit of implementing solutions to aging water utilities based on an infrastructure asset management plan< is the judicious use of financial resources of the US.

Inframanage has an expert infrastructure management team, which experiences and expertise in New Zealand asset management setting are quite applicable to the US situation.

Photo Source: RT.COM

New Orleans Achieves Stronger Infrastructure Resilience thru the IHNC Surge Barrier

Inner Harbor Navigation Canal Surge Barrier

Inner Harbor Navigation Canal Surge Barrier

The catastrophic aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 provide many lessons on infrastructure resilience. The threat of storm surges remains because of the city’s average elevation level is six feet (or almost 2 meters) below sea level and being bodies of water surround the city.

In 2005, the 28-foot storm surge that Hurricane Katrina created left some areas of New Orleans flooded. There were breaches on the floodwall due to foundation failure and water over topping the levees.

Learning from Hurricane Katrina experience, New Orleans and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Hurricane and Storm Damage Risk Reduction System embarked on the Inner Harbor Navigation Canal Surge Barrier or IHNC Surge Barrier project.

Its construction begun in 2008, and with an aggressive four-year timeline to beat. Despite many complications and technical challenges, the barrier was completed ahead of time in 2011. Construction cost reached $1.1 billion. It’s was a simultaneous design and build civil work project.

The IHNC Lake Borgne Surge Barrier is one of the largest civil works project designed and constructed in the US Army Corp’s history. It extends through the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway and the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet near New Orleans.

Inner Harbor Navigation Canal Surge Barrier

It was designed to reduce the effect of storm surge and prevents damage to the most vulnerable areas around New Orleans. The barrier specifically protects the surrounding area against storm surge coming from the Gulf of Mexico and Lake Borgne.

The structure consists of three gates that allow vessel passage through a concrete barrier wall, 10,000 feet long and 26 feet high. There’s a complete floodwall closure of the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet. The Seabrook Floodgate was also constructed, another navigation gate in the vicinity of Seabrook that meets and blocks possible storm surge from the Lake Ponchartrain.

With the breaches repaired and fortified, the level of protection in New Orleans is much better than any time in their entire history. The New Orlean’s surge barrier proved its mettle and served its purpose when Hurricane Isaac came in August 2012.

With its complex structural design, the edifice stands as an infrastructure resilience landmark.  This year, the infrastructure garnered the 2014 Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement (OCEA) Award by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).

Achieving 100-year storm criteria, IHNC is now considered the model of floodgate and floodwall designs all over the world. Now an infrastructure resilience icon, the IHNC Surge Barrier has become the pride of Louisiana and the US.

Calamities will continue to challenge civilization but with infrastructure management experts providing resilience plans and strategies, risks are significantly reduced.

PHOTO CREDIT: Seacity2100; American Society of Civil Engineers

Learning Resource for Centralians – Optimised Decision Making, IDS and the Deighton Water Model

Inframanage

Recently, I read the article “Optimised Decision Making, IDS and the Deighton Water Model – An Introduction” which sparked my attention.

Published on the Inframanage.com site, the article includes a video that demonstrates the Deighton Water Model and the resource persons talked about the implication to finance and infrastructure management.

As a civil engineering graduate, this is very important learning resource for future infrastructure asset managers.

Watching the video made me wished I had learned about this in college. The learning Deighton Water Model presents could be applied not only in the context of asset management.

I was smiling thinking about using it for evangelism.

Thinking about CPU’s many assets, I’m sure nuggets of wisdom on optimized decision making would be very helpful.

I appeal for professors to recommend this learning resource to your students.

Are you a leader, engineer, manager, realtor, development planning specialist, investor?

Are you engaged in public works, infrastructure management and development planning?

Please take time to watch the short “Deighton Water Model” demonstration video.

[note note_color=”#baf875″ radius=”5″]WHEN YOU CLICK ON THE IMAGE ABOVE, YOU WILL BE REDIRECTED TO INFRAMANAGE.COM, WHICH IS SAFE AND TRUSTWORTHY WEBSITE. — JONAN[/note]

What New Zealand Can Offer to the World Other than Dairy Products, Meat, Wine and Tourism

New Zealand sheep industry

New Zealand

I’m sure dairy products, meat and wine would be on top of the list when you think about New Zealand, not to mention sheep, deer and cows.

For its scenic sites from the North Island to South Island, New Zealand has become the world’s popular tourist destination.

The location shooting of popular movies like “Lord of the Rings” and the “Hobbit” boosted the country’s popularity.

Lake Tekapo NZ

New Zealand is readily identified with rugby, sailing, shot put, and rowing. The country won medals in international competitions on these sports events.

She has been listed several times in the top ten of the world for such categories as “safest country” and “most liveable country”.

These are just some of the popular things people around the world might say or think about New Zealand.

Do you know there is more to New Zealand than the popular perceptions mentioned above?

Being located far from the rest of the nations of the world except Australia, New Zealand is an innovative nation in many learning areas. Creativity and inventiveness is not limited to agriculture, manufacturing and education only.

Auckland Harbour Bridge by Karl Hipolito

Auckland Harbour Bridge by Karl Hipolito

Infrastructure management is one area where the Kiwis excel in terms of ideas and best practices. The country has institutionalised infrastructure management planning in her laws since 1990.

This paved way for generating and pioneering best practices and development of infrastructure management techniques.

As we all know, infrastructure has important role in the economic development of a country; service supports the constituents and society.

Thus, its management needs to be strategically planned, maintenance and risks management programs faithfully implemented, alongside wise allocation of fiscal and logistical resources of local and national government units.

As a nation established much later than other nations in America and Europe, New Zealand found herself developing best practices in infrastructure construction and management based on lessons learned from older developed countries.

NZ Asset Management Support, in partnership with asset management organisations and experts of Australia and NZ, created the International Infrastructure Management Manual. This is to ensure that best practices and standards are institutionalized and implemented among partner countries.