About AWI - Our Nation's Aging Water Infrastructure Dilemma

Sharing Sustainable & Affordable Solutions for Aging Water Infrastructure (AWI)

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” We’ve all heard the saying. In fact, many of us have used it ourselves. After all, in many circumstances, it’s not a bad philosophy to live by. Sometimes, we really are better off leaving well enough alone.

When it comes to aging water infrastructure, however, the age-old adage no longer holds true. So far, our inclination to leave well enough alone (often an excuse for shoving seemingly insurmountable issues under the rug) has far from served us well.

One look at the various hot spots all over the US is all it takes to grasp the gravity of this trillion dollar issue. Cities across the nation are starting to experience the effects of water service loss and sewer overflow events. It may not be completely broken yet, but our aging water, wastewater and storm drainage infrastructure certainly needs our attention. Now.

Poorly managed aging water infrastructure results in:

  • Water main breaks that require expensive repairs
  • Corrosion issues that ultimately lead to pipe failure
  • Poor water quality, putting all of us at risk

The Wet Infrastructure Resource Solution Center

This website was created to offer visitors a “big picture” perspective regarding aging water infrastructure (AWI).
Right now, the water industry is dangerously segmented, with engineering in one corner, politics in the other and financing somewhere in between.

My hope is that my personal website's articles and resource center will bring these isolated elements together and allow us come one step closer to making sustainable and affordable water infrastructure a reality.

I encourage you to use this resource center to:

  • Be Proactive and share research and provide solutions
  • Consider the big picture surrounding aging water infrastructure 
  • Bridge gaps within the water industry (Politics-Engineering-Operations-Maintenance-Finance)
  • Learn about and implement best practices to become a more cost effective utility 
  • Strike a balance between sustainability and affordability

Adopting a Proactive Approach

Historically, we’ve relied on a reactive approach for managing our water infrastructure. When something breaks, we fix it. What we need to implement is a proactive mentality–we need to stop letting things break, or at least not as quickly as they have been.

If we apply a proactive approach to asset management, by repairing a utility before it has a chance to fail, we stretch out the life of our water infrastructure, improving the environment and, ultimately, saving resources and money.

Resource Allocation & Risk Management

The key to proactive asset management is knowing when to address any particular issue. If we replace an asset too early, we’ve wasted money. On the other hand, if we replace an asset too late, we end up spending too much. What we need to aim for is a balance between sustainability and affordability—stretching out the life of our assets and understanding where and when it’s possible to save money.

For more information about our nation's AWI dilemma or to learn about my writing and research, please feel free to contact me.