Best Practices for Integrated Water Infrastructure Asset Management (IWAM)

Project Overview

The Great Lakes Commission’s Joint Action Plan for Clean Water Infrastructure and Services in the Great Lakes Region (September 2017) highlights how effective water infrastructure investments across the region are hindered by lack of information. In fact, most water systems are not required to maintain asset inventories or engage in long-term infrastructure planning. Although resources are available to support these activities, they often go unused by facilities due to capacity and funding constraints. As a result, states, provinces, and individual communities across the Great Lakes basin are in very different places with respect to water infrastructure asset management policies and practices.

The word “integrated” in integrated water infrastructure asset management (IWAM) refers to the complementary goals of improving regional coordination on water infrastructure asset management across the Great Lakes region, as well as advancing coordination between siloed water utility sectors on a local scale (e.g., drinking, waste, storm).

With funding from the Joyce Foundation, IWAM Phase I will assess existing asset management efforts, best practices and common barriers to advancing IWAM across the Great Lakes basin. Why is water infrastructure asset management important or not? What tools are being used at the local, state and provincial scale? Which communities are using them and why? The project team will answer these questions by convening state and provincial representatives, local utilities and other key stakeholders from across the Great Lakes basin.

The Great Lakes Commission will publish a report summarizing our findings with recommendations for how to catalyze the adoption of IWAM best practices across the region. Proposed regional goals will also be included to reflect the value that water infrastructure asset management brings to the region.

The final deliverable of IWAM Phase I will be a proposal for IWAM Phase II, which will outline a plan of work to implement the Phase I recommendations. Potential pilot communities will be identified, with an eye towards maximizing geographic diversity. An advisory group of key stakeholders, drawn in part from participants in Phase I, will be assembled to help guide Phase II.

Project Partners

The Joyce Foundation


This project is supported with funding from The Joyce Foundation.

For More Information

Dan Gold
Senior Program Specialist
Great Lakes Commission
[email protected]

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