Asset management

Asset management brings together different municipal disciplines to manage infrastructure planning. 

Public infrastructure such as city buildings, roads and parks have estimated service lifespans and costs for rehabilitation and replacement.

Use this page to find out about the condition of city-owned assets and how we plan to manage them in the future.


On this page

  1. Asset values and conditions
  2. Asset classes
  3. Asset management approach
  4. Asset management plan
  5. Asset management policy

Asset value and conditions

We categorize public infrastructure into 'asset classes' that each have:

  • an inventory and estimated replacement value
  • a current and projected condition
  • an average annual funding amount
  • an estimated funding gap to reach target performance

This information is updated regularly, based on:

  • the best available asset inventory, condition and deterioration trends
  • the most recent approved budget and funding forecast

Expand the tab below to find the value, condition and funding gaps of each group.

Asset value, condition and funding gaps

Asset groups

Replacement value

Current condition

Condition in 25 years

Average annual funding

Annual funding needed

Annual funding gap

Transportation

$783.2 million

Good

Very Poor

$6.3 million

$20 million

$13.7 million

Stormwater

$433.2 million

Fair

Very Poor

$2.8 million

$7.6 million

$4.8 million

Sanitary Sewer

$424.3 million

Good

Poor

$2.5 million

$4.2 million

$1.7 million

Water Distribution

$367.8 million

Excellent

Good

$3.5 million

$4.5 million

$1 million

Facilities

$271.8 million

Very Poor

Good

$3.4 million

$4.6 million

$1.2 million

Bridges

$84.7 million

Good

Very Poor

$1.8 million

$2.2 million

$400,000

Forestry

$75.5 million

Excellent

Good

$300,000

$200,000

-$100,000

Parks

$38.3 million

Very Poor

Very Poor

$1.4 million

$2.9 million

$1.5 million

Parking

$34.3 million

Excellent

Good

$200,000

$500,000

$300,000

Fleet

$19.6 million

Good

Good

$2.8 million

$2.6 million

-$200,000

Information Technology

$16.3 million

Fair

Very Poor

$1.3 million

$1.6 million

$300,000

Fire

$7.8 million

Very Poor

Very Poor

$500,000

$800,000

$300,000

Cemeteries

$5.2 million

Excellent

Good

$100,000

$100,000

$0

Total

$2.65 billion

 

 

$26.9 million

$51.8 million

$24.9 million


Asset classes

Assets are funded by different revenue sources. We use two categories to separate assets based on their funding source:

  • property taxes (tax base assets)
  • user fees (enterprise assets)

Expand the tabs below to find detailed information about each asset class.

Tax funded asset classes

Bridges

The city's bridges represent 3.3% of the total value of all city assets. As of 2020, the city is responsible for:

  • 40 pedestrian bridges
  • 42 road culverts
Value and conditions
  • Total replacement value: $85 million
  • Current condition: good
  • Projected condition in 25 years: very poor
Standards and strategy 

Pedestrian bridges and road structure culverts are replaced when they reach the end of their useful life and reach a performance score of 0%. This is determined through inspections undertaken every two years and also informs treatment requirements.

38% of bridges and culverts and poor or very poor. The average annual budgeted capital expenditures of approximately $1.8 million will result in a decline in the performance profile over the next 25 years, which is anticipated to be unacceptable to most stakeholders.

Funding
  • Average annual funding: $1.8 million
  • Projected funding needed to meet target: $2.2 million
  • Annual funding gap: $400,000

Facilities

The city's facilities represent 10.6% of the total value of all city assets. As of 2020, the city is responsible for 1.1 million square feet of total floor space.

Value and conditions
  • Total replacement value: $272 million
  • Current condition: very poor
  • Projected condition in 25 years: good
Standards and strategy 

The city is committed to the maintenance of walls and basic aesthetics, energy efficiency and equipment to deliver the same quality of service in recreation facilities, fire stations, libraries and more.

Facilities are typically rehabilitated through the replacement or refurbishment of individual components or groups of components. Each component has an industry-accepted estimated service life that is combined with observations during site investigations

64% of facility assets have a poor or very poor performance. 

Funding
  • Average annual funding: $3.4 million
  • Projected funding needed to meet target: $4.6 million
  • Annual funding gap: $1.2 million

Fire

The city's fire assets represent 0.3% of the total value of all city assets. As of 2020, the city is responsible for 1,500 pieces of protective equipment and and 21 vehicles. Fire stations are included in the facilities asset class.

Value and conditions

  • Total replacement value: $8 million
  • Current condition: very poor
  • Projected condition in 25 years: very poor
Standards and strategy 

Protective equipment is replaced when it reaches the end of its useful lifespan in accordance with National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards.

Fire vehicles are replaced in accordance with the professional judgement of fire management and mechanical staff based on age, the Highway Traffic Act and NFPA regulations. 

Funding

Average annual funding is projected to result in fire assets declining to a level that is anticipated to be unacceptable to most stakeholders. To achieve the target condition profile for fire assets, an increase of $300,000 in annual funding is required over the next 25 years.

  • Average annual funding: $500,000
  • Projected funding needed to meet target: $800,000
  • Annual funding gap: $300,000

Fleet

The city's fleet assets represent 0.8% of the total value of all city assets. As of 2020, the city is responsible for 348 assets including trucks, ice resurfacers, backhoes and turf vehicles.

Value and conditions

  • Total replacement value: $20 million
  • Current condition: good
  • Projected condition in 25 years: good
Standards and strategy 

Fleet assets are replaced when they reach the end of their useful life and reach a performance score of 0%. Estimated service life ranges between 4 years and 15 years depending on the type of vehicle. 

Funding

Average annual funding of $2.8 million is projected to result in the condition profile of fleet assets remaining stable over the next 25 years. It is anticipated that the performance of fleet assets will be acceptable to most stakeholders. 

  • Average annual funding: $2.8 million
  • Projected funding needed to meet target: $2.6 million
  • Annual funding gap: $0

Forestry

The city's forestry assets represent 2.9% of the total value of all city assets. As of 2020, the city is responsible for about 30,000 street trees.

Value and conditions

  • Total replacement value: $75 million
  • Current condition: excellent
  • Projected condition in 25 years: good
Standards and strategy 

The urban forest is comprised of trees alongside streets and on city-owned lands. Currently this asset group is primarily street trees which are removed and replaced when they reach a performance of 0% with confirmed deterioration.

Funding

It is estimated that 2% of street trees are reaching the end of their useful life. Pests such as the Emerald Ash Borer will be considered for future asset management plans.

Based on the current information, average annual funding of $300,000 will result in a performance profile that will be acceptable to most stakeholders. 

  • Average annual funding: $300,000
  • Projected funding needed to meet target: $200,000
  • Annual funding gap: $0

Information technology

Information technology (IT) assets represent 0.6% of the total value of all city assets. This includes cables, computers, software and other hardware.

Value and conditions
  • Total replacement value: $16 million
  • Current condition: fair
  • Projected condition in 25 years: very poor
Standards and strategy 

Technology assets are replaced when they reach the end of their useful life with a performance score of 0%. Estimated service life ranges between 1 and 5 years for software and hardware, and 25 years for fibre optic infrastructure. 

Funding

The portion of poor performing IT assets is around 9%. The average annual budgeted capital expenditures of $1.5 million will result in a further decline in performance profile over the next 25 years, which is anticipated to be unacceptable to most stakeholders. 

  • Average annual funding: $1.3 million
  • Projected funding needed to meet target: $1.6 million
  • Annual funding gap: $300,000

Parks

Park assets represent 1.5% of the total value of all city assets. This includes 134 parks.

Value and conditions
  • Total replacement value: $38 million
  • Current condition: very poor
  • Projected condition in 25 years: very poor
Standards and strategy 

Park assets are replaced when they fall below the target performance for the respective component. In general, components with a higher consequence of low performance, such as playgrounds, have higher targets.

Funding

The portion of poor or very poor park assets is currently around 55%. The average annual funding of approximately $1.4 million will result in a decline in the performance profile over the next 25 years, which is anticipated to be unacceptable to most stakeholders. Parks data maturity is considered low and as a result, changes to the performance profile are anticipated as information improves. 

  • Average annual funding: $1.4 million
  • Projected funding needed to meet target: $2.9 million
  • Annual funding gap: $1.5 million

Transportation

The city's roads, sidewalks and trails represent 30% of the total value of all city assets. As of 2020, the city is responsible for:

  • 844 lane km of roads
  • 547 km of sidewalks
  • 154 km of trails
Value and conditions
  • Total replacement value: $783 million
  • Current condition: good
  • Projected condition in 25 years: very poor
Pavement quality index (PQI)

PQI is a 100-point scale where 100 is excellent condition and 0 is very poor condition. PQI targets vary based on road classification, with busier roads generally held to higher standards.

  • Current PQI: 61
  • Target PQI: 60
Standards and strategy 

Roads are replaced in coordination with other underground infrastructure, such as watermains and sanitary/storm sewers. Roads are typically resurfaced when no underground infrastructure replacements are required. Sidewalks and trails are replaced when they are in very poor condition.

Funding
  • Average annual funding: $6.3 million
  • Projected funding needed to meet target: $20 million
  • Annual funding gap: $13.7 million

Current average funding levels are projected to result in conditions declining to an unacceptable level.

User fee funded groups

Cemeteries

The city's cemeteries represent 0.2% of the total value of all city assets. As of 2020, the city is responsible for two cemeteries.

Value and conditions
  • Total replacement value: $5 million
  • Current condition: excellent
  • Projected condition in 25 years: good
Standards and strategy 

Cemeteries assets are treated when they fall below the target performance for the respective component.

Funding

35% of cemetery assets reflect poor or very poor performance. While the average annual budgeted capital expenditures of approximately $100,000 indicates that the performance profile of cemetery assets will improve, the data maturity level for this asset class is low. As a result, changes to the performance profile are expected as data improves.

  • Average annual funding: $100,000
  • Projected funding needed to meet target: $100,000
  • Annual funding gap: $0

Parking

Parking assets represent 1.3% of the total value of all city assets. This includes parking structures, paved and gravel lots.

Value and conditions
  • Total replacement value: $34 million
  • Current condition: excellent
  • Projected condition in 25 years: good
Standards and strategy 

31% of parking assets reflect poor or very poor performance. Parking lots are resurfaced when they reach the end of their useful life. The Uptown Parkade is managed like a facility, where individual components are refurbished or replaced as needed. 

Funding

Average annual funding of $200,000 is projected to result in the condition of parking assets improving over the next 25 years. 

  • Average annual funding: $200,000
  • Projected funding needed to meet target: $500,000
  • Annual funding gap: $300,000

Sanitary sewer

Sanitary sewer assets represent 16.6% of the total value of all city assets. This includes 417 km of pipes and 6 sewage pumping stations.

Value and conditions
  • Total replacement value: $424 million
  • Current condition: good
  • Projected condition in 25 years: poor
Standards and strategy 

Pumping stations and sewers are regulated by the Province of Ontario. In order to maintain compliance, sufficient maintenance and rehabilitation funding must be allocated.

Sanitary sewers can be rehabilitated or replaced. Waterloo's strategy is to replace those in poor or very poor condition in coordination with replacement of the road and other subsurface infrastructure. When possible, sewers are rehabilitated using trenchless technology without disturbing the road base.

Pumping stations are rehabilitated on an as-needed basis as components in each facility reach the end of their useful life. 

Funding

At present, most of Waterloo’s sanitary infrastructure is in very good condition with around 12% in poor or very poor condition. If the average annual funding of approximately $2.5M stays the same it would result in a decline over the next 25 years.

  • Average annual funding: $2.5 million
  • Projected funding needed to meet target: $4.2 million
  • Annual funding gap: $1.7 million

Stormwater

Stormwater assets represent 16.9% of the total value of all city assets. This includes 345 km of pipes, 59 ponds, 2 impoundments and 71 km of natural channels.

Value and conditions
  • Total replacement value: $433 million
  • Current condition: fair
  • Projected condition in 25 years: very poor
Standards and strategy 

Stormwater management is a network of pipes (including catchbasins and manholes), ponds and creeks. Storm sewers can either be rehabilitated or replaced. The current strategy in Waterloo is to replace storm sewers that are in very poor condition in coordination with the replacement of the road surface and other underground infrastructure.

The current strategy for stormwater management ponds is to dredge them on a routine basis to remove sediment and restore their full capability to capture runoff. Natural assets such as creeks need to be maintained in an urban environment to provide conveyance through the system and reduce erosion and risk. Performance scores are dependent on the result of site walks, visual risk assessment and operational feedback. 

Funding

The average annual budgeted capital expenditures of $2.8 million will result in a decline in the condition of stormwater assets over the next 25 years. This is attributed to the backlog in renewal needs associated with stormwater assets that have or will exceed their estimated useful life. 

  • Average annual funding: $2.8 million
  • Projected funding needed to meet target: $7.6 million
  • Annual funding gap: $4.8 million

Water distribution

Water distribution assets represent 14% of the total value of all city assets. This includes 436 km of pipes and 2508 fire hydrants.

Value and conditions
  • Total replacement value: $368 million
  • Current condition: excellent
  • Projected condition in 25 years: good
Standards and strategy 

Water distribution is a highly regulated service and the city is legally and ethically responsible to meet regulations and drinking water quality standards. Service reliability and mitigating the effects of climate change are critical.

Watermains can be rehabilitated or replaced. The current strategy in Waterloo is to replace watermains that experience a high number of breaks or that have reached the end of their useful life. Replacement is coordinated with the replacement of other subsurface infrastructure such as stormwater mains and roads. 

Funding

The average annual funding of $3.5 M will result in a relatively stable condition over the next 25 years. 

  • Average annual funding: $3.5 million
  • Projected funding needed to meet target: $4.5 million
  • Annual funding gap: $1 million

Asset management approach

Asset Management is an integrated approach that brings together different municipal disciplines to manage infrastructure planning. 

The objective is to manage infrastructure through strategic investments that rehabilitate or replace assets at the right time for the right amount of money.

We use this approach to :

  • maximize the value of existing assets
  • manage future risk
  • provide satisfactory and sustainable services to the community

Waterloo Decision Support System

The city uses an award winning system to guide decisions regarding building, operating, maintaining, renewing and disposing of infrastructure assets.

This system is used to:

  • help prioritize asset rehabilitation and replacement
  • provide information on asset strategies
  • inform the asset management plan and report cards
  • inform the long term financial plan and capital budget process


Asset Management Plan

The city's Asset Management Plan is based on the best available asset inventory, condition and deterioration trends, and the most recently approved capital budget and funding forecast.

The projected performance of assets will change over time. The funding included in the plan is rehabilitation or replacement funding that excludes funding allocated to growth projects.

Download the latest Asset Management Plan

The latest plan was published in November 2020. Download it all as one file (PDF, 17MB) or a specific section below.

Chapters (PDFs)
  1. Introduction
  2. Asset Management Strategy
  3. State of Waterloo's Infrastructure
  4. Financial Strategy
  5. Tactical and Operational Practice
  6. Conclusion
  7. Recommendations
Appendices (PDFs)
  1. Asset Management Policy
  2. Transportation
  3. Sanitary Sewer
  4. Water Distribution
  5. Stormwater Management
  6. Bridges and Culverts
  7. Facilities
  8. Parks
  9. Forestry
  10. Parking
  11. Fleet
  12. Fire
  13. Information Technology

If you require an asset management document in an alternate format, contact 519-747-8582, TTY (for deaf) 1-866-786-3941 or cassandra.pacey@waterloo.ca


Asset management policy

The city has an official policy that ensures we understand the long-term consequences of managing public infrastructure.

This is accomplished by combining evidence-based analysis with professional management in order to:

  • facilitate decision-making and risk assessments
  • meet legislative and regulatory requirements
  • establish and monitor service levels
  • adjust service levels to accommodate asset efficiency, effectiveness, sustainability and growth
  • establish a financial strategy to fund expenditures required to achieve level of service
  • prepare for climate change

Download the Strategic Asset Management Policy

This policy is updated every 5 years and was last revised in 2019. Download the policy (PDF).