Step 2 – How Do I Prioritize My Assets?
Once you have inventoried your assets, your next step will be to prioritize your assets based on their importance to your system. Prioritization means ranking your system’s assets to help you decide how to allocate resources. Factors involved in prioritization include:
- How soon will you have to replace an asset (its remaining useful life)?
- How important the asset is to the provision of safe drinking water (its impact on public health)?
- How important the asset is to the operation of the system (can other assets do the same job)?
A water system is often one of many responsibilities of a community or municipality. Other factors can influence which water system projects are funded and when they are completed. For example, in many small communities, distribution system rehabilitation and replacement is tied to the road repair schedule and budgeting. Developing an asset management plan and prioritizing your assets will help you determine when you should replace your assets so as to not jeopardize water delivery, but you may have to work with your community or municipality to develop a replacement schedule that works for all parties.
Ideally, an asset management plan will help you forecast your financial needs well into the future and develop a rehabilitation and replacement schedule appropriate for your system’s priorities.