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The water sector today faces a complex range of challenges which mean it is increasingly important for water service providers (WSPs) to develop investment strategies that address growing uncertainty about operational, environmental, social, and economic constraints. Asset management provides an overarching framework within which infrastructure investment strategies can be formulated. While asset management is primarily concerned with maintaining service delivery, the concept can be extended to encapsulate broader sustainability objectives. In this chapter, we focus on the two main categories of capital investment: asset acquisition and asset renewals. Traditionally in the urban water sector, both types of investment have been undertaken within a framework focused on water supply, sewage disposal, and stormwater management separately. Increasingly, however, integrated urban water management (IUWM) concepts are being applied to address the broader sustainability, liveability, and productivity objectives of communities. Progress in implementing change is, however, constrained by lock-in effects of legacy infrastructure and associated institutional arrangements. Nevertheless, innovation at the scheme and project level still occurs. This leads to an overarching process of system hybridisation, the key factors behind this process being the normative values and risk perception of decision makers and other stakeholders. Two case studies are presented to illustrate the type of analysis that is undertaken to support investment decisions leading to this hybridisation. The first involves a traditional like-for-like pipe renewal, whereas the second relates to asset acquisition aligned with broader IUWM concepts. Both case studies highlight that the relative worth of an investment depends strongly on how broader environmental and social factors are considered. These are increasingly influencing infrastructure investment decisions in the transition to more sustainable urban water management.
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- Investing in the Water Infrastructure of Tomorrow
David R. Marlow
David J. Beale
- Springer Netherlands
- Chapter 10