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Session 10B: Utility & Assessment Management - Livestream
10:30am - 11:15am
Strategic Planning to Define the 4P’s – People, Policies, Pricing, and Projects
Brown and Caldwell, United States of America; firstname.lastname@example.org
Projects – the first of the 4P’s and the typical focus for utility planning efforts. Planning efforts usually being with a similar question: what things do I need to build to solve my problem? Whether it be a new pipeline to serve a new area, a new tank to replace a failing tank, or maybe a whole new facility to provide more capacity in the system, we have used planning simply as a means to define a capital improvements program. However, utilities are much more than just projects and infrastructure. They are dynamic, thriving organizations that embody they communities they serve. In our drive to define the physical projects we need to complete we have lost sight the ways utilities truly interact with their communities – through their people, policies, and pricing.
Robust strategic planning efforts should strive to define all of the components that will allow them to enact their outcomes. This requires focus on PEOPLE and organizational roles, POLICIES and business processes, PRICING and financial strategies, and PROJECTS. Each of the 4P’s is critically important to define for a plan to be successfully implemented. Doing so requires a commitment from utilities to define a broader scope for strategic planning efforts.
This presentation will highlight the recent successes of several northwest utilities in defining each of the 4P’s in their strategic planning efforts. This will include a discussion on how each of the 4P’s was investigated and how changes were enacted by the utility to support the implementation of the strategic plan. It will draw on these projects to highlight lessons learned and best practices for utilities looking to implement similar efforts for their next planning effort.
11:15am - 12:00pm
Boise City’s Integrated Plan for Long-term IPDES Permit Compliance
The City is committed to providing effective and affordable water renewal services that protect public health and the environment, meet customer expectations, and support long-term community planning efforts. To this end, the City has made considerable investments to construct and maintain these assets. These investments include upgrading water renewal capabilities, optimizing collection system maintenance and renewal efforts, and improving conveyance (i.e., lift stations) facility performance.
Notwithstanding these significant efforts, the City continues to face aging infrastructure needs, increasingly complex water issues, and growing service demands. There are a number of current and future Clean Water Act (CWA) regulatory drivers that will require major capital investments and impact financial and management resources. The City is concerned that potentially overlapping compliance timelines for multiple federal and state regulatory drivers will limit their ability to efficiently manage resources and make system improvements difficult going forward. The City needs an approach for managing the largest capital investments such as one period being when the City does some asset management to complete regulatory upgrades alternating with a second period being when the City focuses on asset management and regulatory conditions remain status quo. Condition driven projects, including asset management, are fundamental to meeting regulatory requirements, thus the need for this managed approach.
The regulatory framework for an IP was developed and adopted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 2012 and was recently incorporated into the Clean Water Act via the Water Infrastructure Improvement Act passed by bipartisan action in Congress in 2018 and signed into law in January 2019. The IP framework explicitly recognizes that appropriate long-term planning for most municipal utilities needs to extend beyond the traditional five-year duration of a discharge permit. The City’s Utilities Plan extends out 20 years and beyond, and funding, design and construction of new or upgraded facilities cannot be reasonably achieved in 5 years or less. The IP provides a mechanism for both the City and DEQ to look at a longer horizon and be adequately prepared for needed requirements and employ an adaptive process to address new or emerging water quality considerations.