Our Presentations

George S. Hawkins, Esq.
Founder and CEO, Moonshot Missions
George arrived at DC Water as a Board Member in 2007 and became General Manager in 2009.  To help learn, George tagged along with work crews to observe efforts to respond to water main breaks, sewer line back-ups and similar disruptions in the buried assets throughout Washington, DC. He was stunned to learn how these teams were hampered by out of date paper records and response approaches that had not changed in decades.  Starting with how these essential buried assets were managed, George worked with his team to transform every aspect of how DC Water collected and used information to speed responses – often heading them off before they happened.  Since departing DC Water, George has worked with dozens of utilities across the country and observed some of the best in class approaches to these vital assets.  Come hear about the how George helped DC Water transform, and how these lessons are relevant to any utility and community of any size.

Asset Management has been discussed in the U.S. related to water and wastewater for over 20 years but its adoption and implementation in a robust way is still lagging. There are probably many reasons for this challenge, but one way to help overcome it is by demystifying asset management. It does not have to be viewed in such grandiose terms or as so difficult; this view gets in the way of implementation. If it can be viewed in simpler terms, it will be easier to get a larger and more relevant uptake of the practice.

In 2015, the American Water Works Association (AWWA) surveyed water and wastewater utilities about their status of asset management activities. This survey indicated that there was practice going on but generally not robust practice and some areas were definitely weaker than others. In 2020, the survey was repeated with the hope that an increase in practice would be seen.  While the survey had roughly the same number of participants, with similar demographics, the result did not show a substantial increase. On the positive side, there was not a drop off in practice and there was a slight increase in many categories, but large gains were not seen.  

One reason for the lack of progress overall and perhaps the lower uptake, particularly among smaller utilities, maybe the focus on “Asset Management Plans” and overall programs, rather than asset management implementation. When agencies require asset management, they typically require a “Plan” and do not require evidence of implementation. Therefore, an outside entity is able to create a plan, sometimes with little to no involvement of the community at all, and the plan is never implemented. 

While Asset Management Plans are great documents, the focus on this aspect may be contributing to the lower implementation. When Asset Management is described as “having to develop a plan” for a community, they see it as busy work that is not meant to help them but rather to meet a state or federal requirement. If instead, asset management can be seen as solving issues, improving operations and management for the utility workers, and giving customers better service, the response is much better. 

Thinking of asset management in these terms involves asking questions, making connections, and solving problems that can demystify the process. If a utility manager or employee can see the benefit right away by using asset management thinking to solve a problem, the bigger sale of asset management becomes much easier.

This presentation will discuss some of the ways to demystify asset management in order to improve implementation along with some examples of how this was done.

New Zealand started its formal infrastructure asset management journey in the mid 1990’s following the effects of a severe economic recession.  Infrastructure asset management was mandated by law for municipalities, who own and manage the majority of public water networks (water, wastewater and stormwater) in New Zealand.

In 2002 further law changes required municipalities to formally consult with their communities regarding levels of service, public expenditure, future plans for expenditure and outline current and future plans for public infrastructure expenditure – roads, water utilities, parks, public buildings and community services (libraries, art galleries, theatres, auditoriums, sports grounds)

As the mandated community level of service consultation practice progressed and developed there were lessons along the way.  The successes and challenges have shaped the development of this practice over the past 21 years.

The presentation will highlight how New Zealand infrastructure management level of service community consultation practice has developed, from the early attempts with too much technical detail, through to working out what communities want to consider and the ongoing challenge of having the ‘right debate’ with communities.

Three short case studies will highlight examples of what has worked and some of the successes challenges of New Zealand level of service community consultation.

Whilst the affordability of the maintenance and renewal of utility infrastructure remains a ongoing challenge in New Zealand, community consultation has led to good outcomes when correctly used.

Greg Baird 

In 1993, the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) implemented the Interceptor Inspection & Rehabilitation Program (IIRP). The purpose of IIRP was to create a rational critical asset and repair these assets in a cost-effective manner.  As a result of the MWRD’s IIRP, the District has rehabilitated approximately 70 miles of intercepting sewers ranging in size from 10” to 10’x10’ and have 7 additional contracts currently under design. 

In 2013, the MWRD undertook the task to update the IIRP. As a result, the MWRD implemented the Collection Asset Management Plan (CAMP). The objectives of CAMP largely remained the same as IIRP but to provide an updated framework for a comprehensive inspection, condition assessment and rehabilitation plan for the collection system assets.  CAMP allowed the District to centralize the administration of the contract, implement NASSCO Pipeline Assessment Certification Program (PACP®) inspection standards, create a risk assessment system, tie PACP inspection data into MWRD’s geographic information system (GIS), implement the use of tablets for level 1 Manhole Assessment Certification Program (MACP®) inspection and utilize cutting edge technologies to performs inspection of our assets. As a result of CAMP, the District to date has rehabilitated an additional 2 miles of sewers, performed 6-point repairs, initiated 8 additional contracts for design, and has identified another 336 sewer segments of in need of repair.


Innovation is constantly happening in the water and energy distribution space, but adoption and acceptance of new technologies can be a challenge. This presentation will explore different ways companies can accelerate adoption of new technologies and gain acceptance across a wide range of applications. Case studies will be presented with lessons learned from on-going work with an innovative pipeline and pipeline leak detection technology. Discussions will be focused on market transformation activities and key metrics that new products must achieve to be considered commercially viable.

Dr. Norton will describe the various research efforts they are undertaking to support GLWA ‘s pipeline management efforts. These research efforts include pipe failure statistics, assessment and evaluation of new and emerging methods for pipeline assessment and pipe renewal, analytical methods for assessing pipe condition and remaining life, and the impact of operations on pipe management.

Inspection and condition assessment are key elements in asset management of underground pipe networks. But they are often confused and many people consider inspection to be assessment, which is incorrect. Inspection is the acquisition of data; assessment is the analysis of that data to understand asset condition. They are separate but complementary activities and both are essential elements of the asset management process.

Assessment protocols such as the NASSCO PACP are efficient methods for the assessment stage, and they rely on good inspection, especially CCTV in sewers. However the inspection itself is not an assessment. But good inspection is essential to good condition assessment; poor or inadequate inspection leaves the engineer guessing.

This paper will review both elements of the process and examine how they differ and how they complement each other. It will cover the inspection and investigation methods for water and wastewater networks, including sewer force mains. This will include data audit in advance of inspection to identify the inspection data needed for assessment – this may go beyond CCTV especially for pressure pipelines. It will also describe the engineering process of condition assessment and risk analysis and how this contributes to asset management.

The underground construction industry is impacted by new risks and challenges.  The linear nature of underground work is different than general construction and methods for recovery due to problems are frequently limited.  The challenges between owners, designers and constructors sometimes feel like they are in conflict. Funding sources are frequently limited, yet project demands remain high.  

Owners want solutions to improve, rehabilitate and build new underground public infrastructure.  We live an environment where better procurement and delivery strategies are needed.  There are many types of delivery methods from conventional to alternative delivery that can be used for projects.  There is a clear shift away from conventional delivery to alternative delivery as the preferred method.  Each method has its advantages and challenges.  There is not a magic solution that works for every project.  

This presentation describes the trends in tunneling/trenchless procurement and delivery being used across the Americas and the world along with insights on how to fairly balance the risks and rewards between the participants.  

The purpose of this session is to offer panel of experts to discuss the possible, probable, and plausible futures of water infrastructure (10-20 years from now) through various lenses, including social, technological, economic, environmental, political, legal, and ethical lenses.  Various scenarios can be discussed, including unintended consequences.

Presentation Topics

Inventory / Location & Mapping

Remaining Useful Life / Pipeline Condition Assessment

Construction and Rehabilitation / Trenchless Technologies

Level of Service / Stakeholders Involvement

Risk Analysis / Critical Asset

Life Cycle Costing

Long-Term Funding Plan

Research and Education

Regulation and Compliance

Agenda at a glance:

Day #1 (Thursday, Sept. 28, 2023)

9:00 am – 12:00pm    Preparation

12:00 pm – 5: 00 pm 
Registration open, Exhibitions set up, committee meeting, Board of directors meeting

5:00 pm – 7: 00 pm  Congress Kickoff and Welcome reception in the exhibit hall, networking

Day #2 (Friday, Sept. 29, 2023)

8:30 am – 9:55 am Presentations 

10:00 am 10:30 am Break time at Exhibit Hall, networking

10:30 am – 11:55am Presentations (40 minutes each) 

12:00 pm – 1:30 pm Luncheon in the exhibit hall w/ Keynote speaker

1:40 pm – 3:05 pm  Presentations (40 Minutes each)

3:05 pm 3:35 pm

Break time at Exhibit Hall, Networking

3:35 5:05 pm   Presentations (40 Minutes each)

6:00 pm- 9:00 pm Special Event

Day #3 (Saturday, Sept.30, 2023)

8:30 am – 9:55 am  Presentations (40 minutes each)

10:00 am –10:30 am  Break time at Exhibit Hall, network

10:30 am – 12:00 Noon  Panel: The Future of Water Infrastructure