This White Paper was created in collaboration with Arcadis. Follow this link for a complimentary download on Arcadis’ Website.
Utilities must reckon with a paradigm shift. From climate event reactive to climate event prepared, from rate increase-based finance models to alternative finance models, from reliance on an aging, specialized workforce to flexible staffing that leverages digital tools.
In 2020, Arcadis and Bluefield Research published Realizing the Value of Change with Advanced Asset Management which examined the changing asset management landscape and how a framework that incorporates a people focus with advanced technology can address affordability, workforce and regulatory challenges. This paper also identified the limitations of traditional asset management, including the growing investment gap needed for new and improved infrastructure, steadily rising utility rates, loss of institutional knowledge through workforce retirements, and a regulatory movement for requirements on asset management.
An advanced asset management framework was proposed to address these limitations on traditional programs by utilizing asset management enablers such as applying advanced analytics and focusing on people as well as physical assets.
While these enablers remain valuable, much has changed since then: utilities have faced the repercussions of a global pandemic and its aftermath, increasingly extreme weather events have forced organizations to invest in preparedness and resilience against droughts, floods and other climate-related disasters, and a shifting policy environment has required utilities to prioritize environmental and social equity in their operations. Further, the current federal government administration has sought to address social, environmental and investment issues with a series of measures including expanded loan and grant funding programs, the creation of new EPA offices, and additional regulations for water quality protection. At the same time, historic and ongoing issues concerning the aging workforce and evolving financing schemes remain a key focus.