May 25, 2017

Report Visualizes Future With Sustainable Infrastructure

Evergreen State College’s Center for Sustainable Infrastructure presents shared vision for the Northwest

New report considers sustainable infrastructure in Northwest

A group of 50 industry experts from water supply, wastewater and storm water backgrounds developed a new report, “A Northwest Vision for 2040 Water Infrastructure: Innovative Pathways, Smarter Spending, Better Outcomes.”

The report, released by the Evergreen State College's Center for Sustainable Infrastructure, is the first attempt to construct a regional shared vision for the future of water infrastructure in the Northwest, and highlights how the Northwest region's water utilities can generate solutions by adopting new investment practices for billions of dollars in annual spending, guided by long-range vision and strategy.

The report highlights the role that technology is playing in improving cost-performance by providing a higher level of situational awareness and the ability to dynamically operate and maintain systems using sensors in real time.

"Technology allows you to collect data remotely and keep track of the condition of a pump or pump station to tell you the best time to do maintenance or repair, or to replace those assets," said CH2M Senior Vice President and Global Practice Director for Strategic Consulting Scott Haskins, in the report. "As things get older the costs go up for capital replacement, so you want to do the right things at the right time to achieve the lowest lifecycle cost."

The full report introduces a robust portfolio of new water infrastructure solutions, expanding the choices available and opening new opportunities for innovation. Many of these approaches save money for the local utility and offer sustainability benefits across the environmental, social and economic triple bottom line.

"While America turns its focus toward two assets essential to our prosperity, as we celebrate National Drinking Water Week this week and National Infrastructure Week next week, the time is now to talk about how we can utilize these solutions for the future. The price tag of failing infrastructure is far too great to think about these critical resources for just two weeks out of the year," said CH2M State & Local Governments President Greg McIntyre.