Image: San Antonio River Authority
This Integrated Asset Management Framework is a framework created by the Southwest Environmental Finance Center (SW EFC) as part of a project funded by Spring Point Partners. The framework integrates green assets into the existing gray asset management framework. For the framework, the SW EFCSouthwest Environmental Finance Center defined green assets as natural systems and engineered assets that replicate the functions of natural systems. It took many years for water, wastewater, and stormwater sectors to accept and recognize traditional asset management, but now that it is standard, green infrastructure can benefit from fitting into the same established format. The unified approach in this framework follows the same five core components of traditional asset management: Level of Service, Current State of the Assets, Criticality, Life Cycle Costing, and Long-Term Funding. The SW EFCSouthwest Environmental Finance Center does not want the people who have already been developing and implementing asset management to feel they must start over. Systems that have implemented asset management already do not need to start over but add to their existing framework. Implementing this framework will help those systems with green assets better align with the approach and strategic objectives applied by many systems to their gray assets.
This framework is for water, wastewater, and stormwater systems of any size that are interested in implementing asset management practices. The framework contains all the basic elements of asset management. Systems with only gray assets or systems that have both green and gray assets can use this framework. System employees at all levels should be able to use this framework, including operations or management personnel, elected officials, and board members, regardless of experience with asset management.
Aeration and Clarification
The online format of the framework is meant to be interactive and allows the user to navigate easily between chapters, sections, and subsections. The framework is separated into six chapters: Introduction, Level of Service, Current State of the Assets, Criticality, Life Cycle Costing, and Long-Term Funding. Each chapter has sections, and within each section, there might be subsections. Users can use the Table of Contents button on the home page to navigate to various parts of the framework. When users are in a subsection and want to navigate back, they can easily do so with the breadcrumb navigation scheme, found above the main menu on the left-hand side of the screen. Breadcrumbs allow users to establish where they are in the framework and offer users a way to trace the path back to their original landing point or any point in between. For example, on this page, the breadcrumbs navigation system shows Home/Introduction/Introduction. This tells the user they are in the introduction chapter of the framework, and the introduction section of the introduction chapter. Users can click on any of the chapters or sections in the breadcrumbs to navigate the path back to their original starting point or any point in between. Additionally, hyperlinks are present throughout each subsection to make navigating to a specific subject that spans several chapters easier.
The information presented in this framework is based on the Asset Management approach originally developed by Australia and New Zealand as contained in the International Infrastructure Management Manual and follows a 5-core component model. The general asset management information is supplemented with green infrastructure information gathered from extensive research, conferences, discussions with water, wastewater, and stormwater system staff, and outcomes from two convenings hosted by the SW EFCSouthwest Environmental Finance Center. The convenings had participants from around the country and from a variety of backgrounds including state environment departments, local governments, utilities, universities, landscape architect firms, and consulting firms. This framework is also based on an earlier asset management guide called A.M. Kan Work! An Asset Management and Energy Efficiency Manual, 2011, written by the Southwest Environmental Finance Center (previously named the New Mexico Environmental Finance Center).