Water Demand Management
January 15, 2016
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Infrastructure Asset Management

What is Infrastructure Asset Management?

Municipalities are the custodians of community infrastructure. The implementation of Infrastructure Asset Management solutions enables them to contribute to the social upliftment of the communities they serve.

Municipalities are the custodians of community infrastructure such as roads, waste disposal sites, water and sanitation systems and public facilities. The maintenance and management of physical infrastructure assets - infrastructure asset management - are therefore the cornerstone of delivering public goods and services. Moreover, in order to engineer social upliftment in complex development-centred contexts, systematic, holistic and integrated approaches to the maintenance and management of public assets are imperative.

As an example, in 2013 the Water Research Commission found that almost 40% (36.8%) of the total municipal water supplied in South Africa is lost before it reaches municipal customers, from industry to household 1. Although South Africa’s water losses are in tune with the global average, South African municipalities are in crisis management mode, with the lack of information available on water loss furthermore indicating a general lack of awareness of a problem on their part.

What is Infrastructure Asset Management (IAM)?

Infrastructure Asset Management (IAM) is an integrated process of decision making, planning and control over the acquisition, use, safeguarding and disposal of assets to maximise their service delivery potential and benefits, and to minimise their related risks and costs over their entire life.

The IAM life cycle refers to the integrated, multidisciplinary set of strategies directed at sustaining public infrastructure assets on an on-going basis. It combines management, financial, engineering, economics and social practices and techniques within a coherent management framework, asset management plan and process in order to effectively provide service delivery.

For example, providing sustainable water services relies on more than just infrastructure. It includes various physical as well as human, institutional and financial elements, from governance and water resources to financing and effective management.

What Solutions are Available?

Software suites such as IMQS's Asset Management Module turns IAM into a disciplined practice of capturing and maintaining accurate asset data for moveable and immovable assets. Assets are captured in an Asset Register, assessed and a measurable monetary value attached to each. The application of the accepted accounting practices allows for the calculation of values such as current replacement costs, remaining useful life etc., and makes an impact assessment possible in cases where asset performance has been severely compromised.

The implications of efficient asset management are far reaching for both municipalities, and the communities they serve. Read more on the Top 5 Reasons Municipalities need Infrastrucutre Asset Management Solutions.