New asset management regulations and guidelines are constantly being released in Canada, but there is little information on how municipalities are implementing these practices. To address this knowledge gap, a research team from the University of Waterloo have developed an Asset Management Readiness survey to better understand and benchmark the current water and wastewater infrastructure asset management practices in Ontario.
Graduate student and environmental engineer, Anelisa Schmidt and her supervisor Dr. Mark Knight will lead the research with financial support provided by the Centre for Advancement of Trenchless Technology (CATT) and the Southern Ontario Water Consortium (SOWC).
“We started this conversation with Mark Knight at CATT about a year ago,” said Brenda Lucas, executive director of the SOWC.
“We recognize that municipalities that undertake strategic, data-driven asset management are in a much better position to consider new approaches and technologies because they really understand their needs and can target or recognize solutions that will work for them. I’ve been really encouraged by the emphasis on asset management by both the federal and provincial governments, and in particular, Ontario’s new regulation requiring asset management,” said Lucas.
“Mark’s team used the Asset Management Readiness Scale created by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. And they turned it into an easy-to-use survey specifically for water, wastewater, and stormwater assets. As evidence and tools become better available to show the financial and other benefits of incorporating strategic asset management planning into decision-making, it’s helpful to have a baseline of the starting point for asset management in the province and how it changes over time,” she said.
According to the 2016 Canadian Infrastructure Report Card, municipalities own 57 per cent of the core public infrastructure in Canada, while provinces and territories own 41 per cent. Information about asset management practices in Ontario will help municipalities to asses themselves and plan their next steps, as the province’s asset management requirements are implemented, and funding allocations are determined.
The CATT plans to conduct the survey on an annual basis to examine how the readiness level is evolving.
The survey is intended for municipal asset management practitioners. The estimated time for completing the survey is 30 minutes to 1 hour. Participants of the survey will receive the final report.
To access the survey visit https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ReadinessSOWC