Utility Financial Management

"A Game Plan for Aging Water Infrastructure" by Gregory M Baird
2010 American Water Works Association AWWA Journal (April 2010)*
This article focuses on the development of an overall game plan to address the nation’s aging wet infrastructure crisis by working towards asset sustainability and affordability through applying asset management and condition assessment activities while also pursuing financing options and improving stakeholder relations.

"Exploring the Best Practices of "Work With Less-Better" by Gregory M Baird
American Water Works Association AWWA Journal (June 2012)***
This article dicusses the best practices of rural and small utilties and the partnerships the USEPA. Highlights include low cost financing, grass root association support, open procurement practices and pipe selection practices. Many rural water systems are not small but can be several thousand miles of pipe. Many rural systems are 95% PVC.

"Utility Financial and Operational Dashboards: From Prehistoric Reporting to High-tech Live Updates" by Gregory M Baird
American Water Works Association AWWA Journal (April 2012)***
Financial dashboards are used for a variety of high-level purposes, including rates and revenues, project and infrastructure tracking, and even consumer services and operational compliance to help managers, finance staff and elected officials.

"Managing Assets: When Going with the Flow Doesn’t Save Money" by Gregory M Baird
American Water Works Association AWWA Journal (September 2011)**
This article explains the importance of ROI (Return on Investment) when reviewing and tracking industry best practices and asset management programs.

"Reducing Costs through Open Procurement and Alternative Project Delivery" by Gregory M Baird
American Water Works Association AWWA Journal (August 2011)**
This article points out the simple but forgotten step of maintaining open and current procurement policies that allow for new materials, technologies and methods which can actually reduce costs. The examples used includes PVC pipe materials where corrosive soils are present and using pipe replacement project options like design build as the low cost project delivery methodology.

"Bridging the Gap between Engineers and Finance" by Gregory M Baird
American Water Works Association AWWA Journal (July 2011)**
This article explains the similarities and balance between the engineering and finance professions and the important of infrastructure asset management as the bridge between the two disciplines to achieve overall lower costs for capital replacement and maintenance of assets.

“Finance Officers’ Guide to Utility Management” by Gregory M Baird
Government Finance Officers Association GFOA Annual Conference for US and Canada
(May 2011, San Antonio, Texas)
Available upon request.

“Challenges of the 21st Century Aging Infrastructure: Getting Capital Repair and Replacement Back on Track” by Gregory M Baird
2011 Government Finance Officers Association GFOA Annual conference for US and Canada
(May 2011, San Antonio, Texas)
Available upon request.

“America’s Aging Water Infrastructure Dilemma” by Gregory M Baird
Water Utility Infrastructure Management UIM
(May 2011-Seattle, WA) (Asset Management Conference)
This presentation on the nation’s infrastructure crisis with recommended asset-centric best practices were given at an asset management conference is available upon request.

"Defining Public Asset Management for Municipal Water Utilities" by Gregory M Baird
American Water Works Association AWWA Journal (May 2011)**
This article discusses the concept of asset management and its many forms including the definition of public asset management. In general, Public Asset Management incorporates the management of all things which are of value to a jurisdiction, its mission and purpose and citizen’s expectations. GIS-centric Public Asset Management has a foundation which standardizes data and allows interoperability, providing users the capability to reuse, coordinate and share information in an efficient and effective manner. An EsriGIS platform combined with the overall Public Asset Management umbrella of both physical “hard” assets and soft assets helps remove the traditional silos of structured municipal functions.

"Building a Solid Foundation During an Enterprise Asset Management Revolution" by Gregory M Baird
Water Utility Infrastructure Management UIM Journal of Finance and Management for Water and Wastewater (May 2011)
This article explains the fundamental building blocks of a seamless asset management program using the best in breed GIS-centric software.

"Reducing Capital Budgets Through Pipe Segment Replacement Planning and Acoustic Monitoring" by Gregory M Baird
American Water Works Association AWWA Journal (April 2011)**
This article discusses the cost savings concept of incremental pipe segment replacement based on acoustic monitoring technologies for large diameter PCCP.

“Meters and Tariffs: Challenges and Pitfalls-Lessons from the U.S.” by Gregory M Baird
Water and Wastewater International Magazine/Water World (March 2011)
Available upon request.

"Fasten your seat belts: Water Main breaks and the Issuance of Boiling orders" by Gregory M Baird
American Water Works Association AWWA Journal (March 2011)**
This article explains the risks of contamination with an increased occurrence of water main breaks and highlights a water distribution system valve control point best practice to reduce the inherent risks.

"Navigating Service Level Expectations: Asset Management Planning" by Gregory M Baird
American Water Works Association AWWA Journal (February 2011)**
Asset Management planning includes determining the appropriate service levels that the assets should support and therefore the cost associated with providing the complete service. The service level and cost discussion should be communicated to stakeholders in order to provide common ground to discuss rate increases and capital replacement budgets.

"Expressway to the Future: GIS and Advanced Metering Infrastructure" by Gregory M Baird
American Water Works Association AWWA Journal (January 2011)**
EsriGIS ARCGIS software provides spatial analysis tools that can be better captured and utilized by utilities with a GIS-centric Computer Maintenance Management System (CMMS). Future integrated advancements in water and wastewater utilities include Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) integrated with EsriGIS.

"Water Affordability: Who’s going to pick up the Check?" by Gregory M Baird
American Water Works Association AWWA Journal (December 2010)*
This heavily researched article describes the development of the EPA’s expectation that affordable water and sewer rates based on average median household incomes within utility jurisdictions should total about 5.0%. This concept is then applied to the State of Colorado and a large segment of Canada demonstrating the potential for 200-400% increases in rates and the difficulty it imposes to rural communities and disadvantaged and low income households.

“Challenges of the 21st Century: The Aging Water Infrastructure Dilemma” by Gregory M Baird
Water Utility Infrastructure Management UIM Journal (Dec 2010-Cleveland)
(Publication and Asset Management Conference)
Available upon request.

"Leveraging Your GIS: Optimize Capital Planning and Savings" by Gregory M Baird
American Water Works Association AWWA Journal (November 2010)*
This article explains the importance of GIS in utility planning, management and investment decision making. The GIS-Centric approach is highlighted as an industry best practice for efficiency especially in asset management programs.

“Patching up America’s Aging Water Infrastructure?” by Gregory M Baird
Water and Wastewater International Magazine/Water World (November 2010)
Available upon request.

"Leveraging Your GIS: Achieving a Low-cost Enterprise Asset Management System" by Gregory M Baird
American Water Works Association AWWA Journal (October 2010)*
This article explains the use of GIS in asset management planning when using the geodatabase as the asset registry and combined with a CMMS to create the basic building blocks of an enterprise asset management system. The CMMS work history is described as the lowest cost asset data available.

“Digging up the Challenges of the Aging Infrastructure Dilemma” by Gregory M Baird
National Association of Trenchless Technologies NASTT Publication and Conference
(Nov 2010; Denver, CO)
Available upon request.

"Balancing Demands for Limited Funds between Existing Infrastructure Needs and Water Supply Projects" by Gregory M Baird
American Water Works Association AWWA Journal (September 2010)*
This article discusses the competition for funding between water supply projects needs and infrastructure replacement projects. The core of the funding issue is who benefits and the laws around rate increases and developer fee calculations.

"The Pendulum Swing of Revenue Stability and Conservation" by Gregory M Baird
American Water Works Association AWWA Journal (August 2010)*
This article explains how conservation water rate models are not producing the revenue that they had forecasted in this new economy. Now, many utility managers are faced with lower than expected water demand which in turn has created a significant reduction in required revenue to meet the operational needs. The crisis deals with an imbalance between revenue stability requirements and water conservation objectives. The remedy to this serious issue requires a broad understanding of the unique set of factors which make up the utilities’ water demand and revenue characteristics. The steps required to quantify these factors include reviewing possible internal adjustments, conducting studies and scenario testing, tracking and monitoring trends, developing risk mitigation tools, and promoting community education and outreach.

"The Labyrinth of Capital Planning and Budgeting for Water Infrastructure" by Gregory M Baird
American Water Works Association AWWA Journal (July 2010)*
This article explains the capital budgeting process as being more complicated than the operating budget. Capital planning and budgeting is also more time consuming because it leads to a capital financing plan or funding strategy. The important fact that remains, however, is the capital planning process is actually a key to reduce the overall capital burden and reduce the long-term maintenance costs to the benefit of the rate payers. Therefore, it is important to spend the necessary time, energy and dollars to reveal that the greater opportunity of cost savings and lower future rate increases are imbedded in a robust capital planning effort.

"How to Eat an Elephant: The Infrastructure Investment Gap" by Gregory M Baird
American Water Works Association AWWA Journal (June 2010)*
This article explains the various private and governmental studies on the gap of funding for water and wastewater infrastructure and the importance of action at the federal, state, regional and local level.

"The Unfunded Liability in the Closet: Aging Water Systems" by Gregory M Baird
2010 Bond Buyer (May 2010)
This commentary highlights to the municipal bond market, credit agencies and investors- the undisclosed infrastructure gap liability that is growing for utilities in the US because of the short falls in the final version of GASB 34.

“Making the Case for Capital Maintenance: Extending the Useful Life of Your Assets” by Gregory M Baird
2010 Government Finance Officers Association GFOA Annual Conference for US and Canada (June 2010 - Atlanta, GA)
Available upon request.

“The Need for Asset Condition Assessment: A Chief Financial Officer’s Perspective” by Gregory M Baird
Water 21 International Water Association (IWA) (April 2010)
2010 Water Utility Management International (WUMI) magazine (May 2010)
Available upon request.

“Creating a Sustainable Infrastructure: The Dilemma of Underground Assets” by Gregory M Baird
2009 Government Finance Officers Association GFOA Annual Conference for the US and Canada (June 2009- Seattle, WA)
Available upon request.

*Reprinted from Journal AWWA, by permission for Author's Personal Website. Copyright © 2010, Copyright © 2011, Copyright © 2012, American Water Works Association. Permission to reproduce this document is granted for informational purposes only and does not represent or imply approval or endorsement by AWWA of any particular product or service.

**Reprinted from Journal AWWA, by permission for Author's Personal Website. Copyright © 2011, American Water Works Association. Permission to reproduce this document is granted for informational purposes only and does not represent or imply approval or endorsement by AWWA of any particular product or service.

***Reprinted from Journal AWWA, by permission for Author's Personal Website. Copyright © 2012, American Water Works Association. Permission to reproduce this document is granted for informational purposes only and does not represent or imply approval or endorsement by AWWA of any particular product or service.

 

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