Assets are generally the most expensive components that a community can own, operate, maintain and replace. Making the right choice about how to manage a community’s assets is key to being able to sustain the assets over time. One of the best tools to help a community manage its assets is called, Asset Management. It helps answer the questions of what should we do, how should we do it, when should we do it, and where is the best place to make an investment in our assets.

Asset Management is a proven method whose techniques have been refined by the international community, particularly in Australia and New Zealand. It has now been practiced overseas for well over 15 years and has been gaining popularity across the US for the last decade. The Southwest EFC (formerly the NM EFC) began working with Asset Management in 2003. In 2006, at the request of EPA, the SW EFC director traveled to New Zealand and Australia to study Asset Management in order to develop an approach that would work in the US, particularly for smaller sized utilities. Since that time, we have developed training materials, conducted numerous trainings, and have provided one on one asset management assistance for systems from the very small to the very large.

Core Components of Asset Management

  • Asset Inventory
  • Level of Service
  • Critical Asset Assessment
  • Life Cycle Costing
  • Long-term Funding Strategy

Asset Management Has Many Benefits

  • Better operational decisions
  • Improved emergency response
  • Greater ability to plan and pay for future repairs and replacements
  • Increased knowledge of asset location and condition
  • Increased understanding of which assets are critical to the utility
  • More efficient operation
  • Improved customer communication and service
  • Easier rate-setting
  • Rates based on sound information
  • Increased acceptance of rates
  • Better prioritization of capital improvement projects

The Southwest Environmental Finance Center (formerly the New Mexico Environmental Finance Center) developed the A.M.Kan Work! interactive guide to Asset Management and Energy Efficiency. This guide was sponsored by the Kansas Department of Public Health and the Environment (KDPHE) who has generously allowed us to make it available to anyone. It is available in hardcopy form (which includes DVDs) and just as DVDs at the cost of production. Please contact the Southwest EFC (see contact us page) if you are interested in obtaining a copy. This Asset Management tool is the result of two years of extensive research and includes video interviews with eighteen water and wastewater systems across the United States, as well as an international asset management practitioner. This manual is intended to guide small to medium sized water and wastewater sytems through the process of Asset Management and addresses core issues of water and wastewater sustainability. Asset Management allows utilities to provide a sustained level of service at the lowest and most appropriate life cycle cost. Water and wastewater utility owners, operators, managers, and board members will find that this guidebook contains useful tools for assessing the current status of their operations and for developing strategic plans for sustainable water and wastewater service. The manual also introduces the Asset Management IQ test, a tool for assessing your knowledge and progress in the Asset Management process. A pdf file of the A.M. IQ can be downloaded or the tool is available in an interactive on-line version. Please click the link below to access the interactive version or to print the pdf version. You may also visit our AM IQ web page for additional information.

You can access the Interactive Asset Management IQ test only by clicking HERE

Asset Management IQ

The Asset Management IQ tool will help you establish a baseline for your current asset management practice and over time will help you measure progress. You can use the Interactive Asset Management IQ test online by clicking here.

You will be able to print a pdf of your results from that web site. We recommend that you save the pdf in either hard copy or electronically so that you can compare results over time to see your progress in asset management.

If you have any questions regarding the AM IQ tool, please CONTACT US.

Asset Management Manual

A.M. Kan Work! is an asset management and energy effeciency manual sponsored by the Kansas Department of Health & Environment and prepared by the Southwest Environmental Finance Center.

Asset Management Resources


  • Level of Service: Guidelies, Categories, and Example Goals | download
  • Level of Service: Goal Measurement | download
  • Criticality of Assets | download
  • Reference Guide for Asset Management Inventory and Risk Analysis | download
  • Introduction to Asseet Management and Asset Management Resources | download
  • Asset Management: The Five Core Components | download
  • O&M Management Guide - DRAFT, Available for pilot
    (Note: This is a zip file and must be extrated prior to opening) | download

Inventory Database

  • Inventory Database (Note: This is a zip file and must be extrated prior to opening) | download
  • Instruction for using Asset Inventory Database | download

Asset Valuation Tool

This asset valuation tool was designed to provide water utilities with an estimate of what it would cost the utility to replace all of the assets today. Having an idea of the overall value of the utility can help guide decisions about how much to invest in maintenance, how much to save for the future and other financial and non-financial decisions. This tool provides the utility with an estimate that is meant to be used when looking at the big picture. It is not specific enough to use for planning replacement or construction budgets. In order to use the tool, input the estimated quantity for each asset owned and the outputs include low, high and median estimates based on the costs found from the information listed on the sources tab.

Download the Asset Valuation Tool HERE

  • Note:
  • This file is compressed and must be extracted prior to opening.

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