Our WORD choice says it all!!
INFRASTRUCTURE DEFICIT? Industry terms are profit and loss. Government and non-profit groups use surplus and deficit. So we incur a deficit when we spend more than we have or OVERSPEND. But our problem with our infrastructure is we spend less than we should or we UNDERSPEND. So we are really creating a negative legacy or Infrastructure LIABILTY. It is not a deficit.
People ‘hear’ the word ‘deficit’ and assume the accountants will fix it all. But people ‘listen’ to the word ‘liability’ and often ask questions or realize some action is necessary. Similar to what is often stated as a future environmental legacy or liability, if we do not take action now, so do we continue to grow an infrastructure legacy or liability that requires action.
So let’s start getting it right and drop the term ‘deficit’. What we really continue to create is an infrastructure LIABILITY. Let’s start using the right language and tell our politicians and our tax payers about our infrastructure liability. We in our industry can equally do ourselves a favour by switching to meaningful story telling terms.
Asset Management BC
The question remains: Can we afford to continue to expand our land base for human structures? If we do, where is the money going to come from if we are already not keeping up? Why would we continue to put ourselves deeper and deeper into this liability?
There are alternatives. Infiltration and water recycling are two ways we can reduce our dependence on municipal infrastructure. Perhaps people should consider retaining all those nutrients that we use our precious fresh tax payer paid drinking water to flush away...
Where is this place we call away?