The federal government estimates that more than $384 billion in capital investment is needed by 2030 to maintain the nation’s drinking water infrastructure. Publicly owned wastewater utilities need about $270 billion during the same period.
A featured topic of discussion at the recent August ACEC Environment & Energy Committee meeting was Identifying Financial Trends from Federal, State, and Private/Public Partnership (P3) sources. Committee members sought to gain insight and perspective from other groups and organizations also in attendance (Council of Mayors, WDBC, engineering and financial firms).
Quite often, many of the examples of publicized projects about design-build delivery are larger projects – which is not always an accurate representation of what is going on in the industry. For instance, a few months ago, I was partaking in my normal perusing of Google alerts for online items relating to projects in the water sector, when I spotted an intriguing newspaper headline from a small Ohio village.
Both the owner and the selected collaborative-delivery firm share responsibility for ensuring a smooth transition from construction to operation. This process actually begins during the planning stage, when the owner drafts the implementation plan. The transition process is later addressed in the owner’s procurement documents, contract, and final project implementation plan.
Why does it take a crisis or public outrage to motivate policy officials to take action on water and wastewater issues? In 2016, the water quality and compliance issues impacting the public’s health and environment – with the crisis in Flint, Michigan, serving as a prime example – should not be happening.
As 2015 came to close, the city of Houston, Texas, awarded a $900 million progressive design-build project to a joint venture of Water Design-Build Council member firms CDMSmith and CH2M for the design and construction of a 320-mgd water purification project. The project would expand the northeast plant from 80-mgd capacity in order to meet the demands for water by residents and businesses. Immediately signing the contract, the project teams began work in early 2016.
Quite a buzz in the water design-build industry erupted last week from an ENR opinion page report published on January 26 regarding findings from a team of university researchers in China and Australia. Their report, entitled Time and Cost Performance of Design-Build Projects, stated that over half of design-build projects analyzed ran over budget.
This topic – perhaps the most crucial to any utility or agency desiring to pursue a design-build delivery for their project – is also one that is becoming more in demand. Capturing comments from one of Water Design-Build Council's recent discussions with a major utility, are passed on as "lessons learned" for others to consider.
Topics: WDBC Admin
From the Water Design-Build Council's 2015 research study of the lessons that executives and managers have learned from their design-build projects, the importance of communication, education and teamwork stood out from all others.
Within this theme, the participating utility/agency executives and project managers also believe that "peer-to-peer education" is a very valuable process to learn about design-build delivery methods. And, they are also willing to share information about their experiences with others.
From WDBC's own research came...
Our esteemed colleagues at the Value of Water Coalition just unveiled a new educational campaign and toolkit: What's the Value of Water? The campaign hopes to bring recognition to water, one of the world's most precious, yet often taken for granted, resources.
We at Water Design-Build Council also support these efforts to raise awareness of the importance of this valuable resource, by continuing to push for legislation and/or funding to replace and improve the infrastructure. Yet, still, water and its infrastructure are critically undervalued. Help the Value of Water Coalition accomplish this mission by sharing their new What's the Value of Water? toolkit, available for free to any organization that strives to raise awareness about the importance of investing in water, the water infrastructure, and its water resources.