INVESTING IN THE FUTURE OF HOOKSETT
“NH currently faces a need of approximately $2.9 billion over the next ten years for upgrades, repairs and replacement of the infrastructure we have built to manage, clean and deliver water, retain and store water, and manage storm water...the federal and state funding that built these systems is available now in only a small fraction of the historical amounts. Failures of these systems will disrupt the state’s economy and damage its quality of life.” - NH Water Sustainability Commission
It’s no secret that many old water systems in towns throughout the U.S. are in need of significant investments to stabilize and upgrade their infrastructure. While it is currently a source of local pride and independence, the system here in the Village was founded in 1941 and is therefore also vulnerable to issues associated with aging assets. The Water Commissioners are committed to proactively addressing this aging infrastructure, and to improving the system for both growth and sustainability.
The Precinct identifies infrastructure vulnerabilities and associated costs in annual updates to its 10-year Capital Improvement Plan (CIP). The current CIP focuses on the most pressing and important infrastructure needs identified by the State as requiring immediate attention. Those needs include tank replacement, new source development, emergency connection(s), meter upgrades, and water main and pump house improvements. The Precinct frequently provides detailed overviews of CIP issues in public informational sessions and meetings. To schedule a session, please contact our office.
The first steps in addressing the critical CIP needs are being completed. Finishing the job, however, will require a significant long-term financial commitment. The Precinct has always prided itself on providing affordable service, and is committed to continuing to do so while also properly planning for a strong future relative to funding. The Water Commissioners believe we can effectively complete the CIP tasks in the coming years through a creative combination of trust fund reserves, land leasing revenues, low-interest loans, grants and modest annual rate/fee updates.
“Water is our most valuable natural asset, and if we manage it well, our water offers New Hampshire a competitive advantage. It supports and is vital to a healthy environment, individuals, communities and the state economy. In short, New Hampshire lives on water.” - NH Water Sustainability Commission
MANAGING OUR MOST VALUABLE ASSETS
“The ultimate goal of using asset management is to create a shift from “reactive” management of a community’s assets to “proactive” management, thereby increasing the impact of community water infrastructure investments. This is an important step toward building sustainable communities.” - NH Department of Environmental Services
Asset management is an approach to operating and maintaining a water system cost-effectively while maintaining a level of service that is acceptable to customers and sustainable over the long-term. This approach helps decision-makers plan for the care of aging assets. The Precinct follows this approach to ensure that our residents get the most value from their water system assets and that we have the resources to rehabilitate and replace those assets as needed.
The Precinct is in the process of integrating the asset management approach with its CIP updates. The first step in that integration process is to develop an asset management plan. An asset management plan includes an inventory and analysis of critical assets such as hydrants, valves and mains, as well as an evaluation of asset maintenance costs and long-term funding strategies. This information is a powerful addition to the CIP toolbox.
The Precinct completed its first formal asset management plan in June 2020. The plan built upon extensive system assessment, rate review and capital improvement studies undertaken beginning in 2016. This project also included total hydrant flow testing, GIS and SCADA systems development with aerial drone mapping, the adoption of a fixed asset policy, and the location of many missing and buried valves.
Together, the Precinct’s Asset Management and Capital Improvement Plans lay out estimated system costs for the next 20-25 years. Projecting forward to a major asset life span of 100 years, the refurbishment & replacement life costs as currently understood are likely to exceed $45M.
Generating capital project revenue of that magnitude is a significant challenge for a small municipal utility. However, integrating the asset management recommendations into the CIP will streamline long-term maintenance efforts and ultimately reduce costs. Affordability and excellent service are the goals of the Precinct, and both will be achieved through the use of a creative blend of internal and external funding sources.
Over the past few years, we have demonstrated the success of this funding and infrastructure maintenance strategy through the completion of several critical water system projects. Those projects have included:
- New 1MG Water Storage Tank & 12-Inch Water Main I93 Crossing
- SCADA Installation (Real-time Monitoring/Alarms for Level, Pressure, Flow, etc.)
- GIS Mapping, Aerial Drone Survey & System-wide Hydrant Flow Testing
- Lilac Bridge 12-Inch Water Main River Crossing
- Complete Systems Updates at North, South and East Pump Stations
If you'd like to see or learn more about these projects, please feel free to contact our office. We'd be happy to meet with you or set up a field tour.
We need your support! To continue providing safe, secure drinking water and fire protection, the Precinct will need residents, officials, builders, funders and other stakeholders to work with us as we seek to promote a better understanding of critical water infrastructure resources and needs. Working together, the future remains bright. Thank you for your consideration.
HVWP 2020 CIP Summary
HVWP 2020 Budget Summary
HVWP Water System Asset Management Brochure
HVWP Asset Management Plan (2020)
HVWP Water Supply Assessment (2020)
AWWA’s “Buried No Longer: Confronting America’s Water Infrastructure Challenge”
“Drinking Water Infrastructure in NH: A Capital Investment Needs Analysis”
NHPR’s The Exchange: “NH's Aging, Underfunded Infrastructure”
NH Water Sustainability Commission Report
NHDES Asset Management Program