School of Business and Law
Water services—including urban water supply, wastewater, and stormwater services—are essential to society and critical for protecting human health and the well-being of communities. Goal 6 of the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) recognizes this importance and aims to “ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.” Despite progress, the UN reports billions of people still lack water and sanitation services. Many governments around the world face the challenge of balancing between investment in new assets, programs, and services and providing the required funding for repair and replacement of existing water assets. This paper argues infrastructure asset management establishes a foundational framework for the system of operations, management, and importantly, governance of assets to deliver services. An enabling environment for asset management, in addition to supporting the delivery of services, also contributes to meeting public policy objectives. The research question is: How can governments utilize public policy to enable asset management and consequently achieve societal objectives. A variety of public policy instruments used to enable infrastructure asset management and support achievement of government goals and objectives, such as the UN SDGs, are outlined and analyzed. The methodology involved a survey and case studies drawn from three countries, focused on the water sector. It also presents outcomes, common elements, and the need for and benefits of standardization.
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