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Todd Helgeson, Anchorage Water Wastewater Utility
Kurt Vause, Anchorage Water Wastewater Utility

INFRA 2014
1er au 3 décembre, Palais des Congrès, Montréal

Accès gratuit à la présentation PowerPoint (version anglaise)
Titre anglais : Infrastructure Renewal Planning incorporating Indirect Cost Analysis of Consequence of Failures 

Biographies des conférenciers : Todd Helgeson et Kurt Vause, Water Wastewater Utility

Todd Helgeson is an Asset Economist with Anchorage Water Wastewater Utility (AWWU). Prior utility experience includes duties as Plant Accountant in AWWU’s Finance Division. He has been responsible for performing economic evaluations on capital projects and asset infrastructure, performing risk assessments, and writing asset management plans, and asset management strategic and tactical renewal plans.His responsibilities also include developing  business case evaluations.  These require system-wide and/or asset-based analysis of risk (cost vs. benefit) using level of service, criticality, and life-cycle costing to accurately determine costs and impacts. Additionally, in-depth failure prediction analysis and triple bottom line economic analysis have been used to review projects for the capital budgeting process. In addition, Todd’s private sector experience includes service as Program Coordinator for Arctic Slope Regional Corporation, the largest Alaskan-owned company – with approximately 10,000 employees worldwide. Job tasks included annual statistical report preparation, regulatory statistical report submittal, and daily program management.

Mr. Kurt Vause's experience includes 15 years public service as the Engineering Director of Anchorage, Alaska Water and Wastewater Utility (AWWU) where he was responsible for AWWU’s capital construction program, Strategic Asset Services and Planning. He supervises 37 professional and technical staff. Prior to joining AWWU, Mr. Vause spent 19 years as a Consulting Civil and Environmental Engineer. Mr. Vause served as a Board Director of WEF, and international scientific, educational and professional organization of water and wastewater professionals with 36,000 members worldwide, Alaska Section Director of AWWA, a non-profit scientific and educational organization dedicated to public health and safe drinking water with over 50,000 members world-wide. Currently, Mr. Vause serves on AWWA’s Water Utility Council (WUC), on AWWA’s governing council for national legislative and regulatory affairs associated with drinking water issues (regulatory Sub-committee Chair), on a project steering committee member for the 2012 IWA/Water Supply Association of Australia Asset Management Benchmarking & Improvements Project and as AWWA’s Asset Management Committee Vice Chair.

Résumé de la conférence

A problem with business case analysis is that the quantification of indirect cost impacts is complicated and more often done on a qualitative basis. Utilities who operate within generally recognized accounting principles are challenged to justify expenditures yet need to properly factor indirect costs into investment decisions. Knowing how much to invest, where and how to prioritize investments is also a highly complex risk management problem.

There are high costs in under-investing. Three types of adverse consequences - financial, social and environmental – reflect a comprehensive triple bottom line (TBL) assessment. They include:

  • Direct financial costs to the utility (e.g., repair expenses, lost revenues, possible fines and penalties). These are routinely assessed and factored into analyses.
  • Indirect social costs (e.g., loss of public trust, property damage, business losses, traffic delays, potentially compromised public health and public safety)
  • Indirect adverse environmental impacts (e.g., water loss, wasted energy, excess greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, disruption of aquatic and riparian ecosystems).

There are opportunity costs from over­investing scarce community resources that are needed elsewhere. Thus, high potential impacts exist if a utility mis-prioritizes its buried asset investments. Developing a "business case" analysis that adequately, accurately addresses indirect costs must demonstrate and clearly communicate why a suitable level of buried asset expenditure is warranted.

Some U.S. utilities (including Anchorage Water Wastewater Utility) have made strides in assessing the TBL costs of pipe failures.

The authors describe application of a protocol and standardized tool set for inclusion of indirect cost for business case evaluations of project proposals. Use of the protocol to broaden AWWU’s risk management approach in conjunction with capital improvement and operating budget planning processes is intended to validate and prioritize investments serving AWWU customers. The paper describes materials, staff training and rollout, and integration of the protocol into existing utility work practices.


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