Green infrastructure systems are infrastructure assets, like roads and sewers, and should be managed for the value they provide and the risks associated with their potential loss. To do so, green infrastructure assets should be integrated into a municipality’s overall capital asset management framework.
Currently, municipalities are required to develop asset management plans to manage their assets and make the best possible decisions regarding the building, operating, maintaining, renewing, replacing and disposing of their assets. Over the last two years GIO has been encouraging municipalities and the provincial government to include green infrastructure assets in their asset management programs and policies to support sustainable and cost-effective infrastructure spending.
Recently, the Government of Ontario released its new draft Municipal Asset Management Planning Regulation and we were very pleased to see green infrastructure included in the following two places:
1) In the definition of an infrastructure asset:
- “Infrastructure Assets are tangible capital assets directly owned by a municipality or consolidated on the financial statements of a municipality and may include green infrastructure as part of these assets, but does not include these assets where they are managed by a joint municipal water board.”
2) As a consideration in municipal lifecycle management strategies:
- “Municipalities would be required to document a lifecycle management strategy that would outline the lifecycle management activities the municipality would undertake to maintain the proposed levels of service and manage risk (e.g. climate change impacts), with consideration to the full lifecycle costs of the assets, including energy costs. Lifecycle activities would be based on options examined by the municipality to reduce the overall lifecycle costs, including through green infrastructure and non-infrastructure solutions such as demand management and conservation measures.”
The draft regulation is currently posted on the EBR Registry. GIO will be submitting comments through the EBR process and we would encourage other organizations to show support for the inclusion of green infrastructure in asset management planning by making a submission. Comments can be very high level – the number of organizations commenting can have an impact.
Please join us by submitting comments through the EBR post prior to July 24th, 2017.
Click here to read GIO’s draft submission: GIO Asset Management Regulation Comments – Draft