South Florida Water Management District Lifecycle Cost Assessment Tool

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The South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) is responsible for operating and maintaining a $6 billion stormwater system with over 1,100 water control structures throughout southern Florida. Pump stations, culverts, weir, locks, spillways, canals, and levees all play a critical role in managing and protecting South Florida’s water resources—including the historically and culturally significant Florida Everglades. Since a majority of the infrastructure was built in the 1960s, many of these structures are reaching the end of their productive life, constituting a major managerial and financial challenge for SFWMD.

Atkins worked with SFWMD to forecast the total cost of keeping the system operational and within acceptable levels of risk. Through a phased approach, we began by documenting each asset with its associated lifetime cost—recognizing that many assets would be in need of repair or replacement at the same time in the next 20 to 30 years. As a result, we identified the need to optimize maintenance scheduling so costs could be spread out over time, while ensuring no assets were going too far beyond their projected lifespan.

Anchored by a digital workbench developed in Excel, the second phase implemented a solution that allows managers to quickly load assets into Excel’s familiar table system. The data is then used for modeling scenarios to optimize long-range life-cycle capital expenditures for existing and planned infrastructure. The workbench is linked to a central database and scenarios are published for the management team to review.

By working with SFWMD staff and clearly identifying the level of detail needed for the results, a fully-reviewed system report was ready in four months. The application was installed as a “living document” and is updated from the District’s inventory of record. This powerful set of tools allows SFWMD’s managers to understand risks and create consensus on management scenarios, while building confidence in proposed budgets to manage the system in the future. Using this application, the SFWMD was able to demonstrate a need to increase its budget by roughly $20 million per year in order to operate and maintain its stormwater system at acceptable risk levels throughout the 21st century.

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United States of America

Miami-Dade County Seaport Department

Completion Date:

Services provided:
• Needs assessment
• Scoping
• Digital tool design
• Asset management/evaluation