Utility Financial Management

"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. 

"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."Reducing Capital Budgets Through Pipe Segment Replacement Planning and Acoustic Monitoring"

"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. 

"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.

"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.