Maintain and strengthen current regional water and wastewater planning, including flow capacity, needed to encourage economic development opportunities.
Basic infrastructure, especially adequate water and wastewater facilities, is essential for attracting economic development. This necessary framework is also one of the most costly systems to support for local governments. Several systems in the KIPDA region still have clay and asbestos-cement (AC) pipes that were installed in the early to mid-1900s. Miles of these lines are nearing the end of their useful service life and require strategic replacement planning in order to maintain the quality of the region's infrastructure and to support future commercial and industrial growth. Maintaining a strong asset inventory and GIS database is an integral component of being able to plan for infrastructure improvements and prioritizing funding for projects. The KIPDA region works with the Kentucky Infrastructure Authority (KIA) to maintain the Water Resource Information System (WRIS) Portal. This portal houses all of the data regarding the region's water and wastewater systems and information about projects on the horizon that will improve their functionality.
Proper planning and effective communication between systems through the leadership of the Regional Water Management Council has made it easier to identify needs and prioritize projects that will lead to more economic development opportunities.
By 2030, the region is projected to be home to more than 1,116,750 people, an 11% increase from 2016. Not only does water and wastewater infrastructure need to be maintained, but design capacity must be increased in order to accommodate these additional residents. Properly guided sustainable development that focuses on density and building closer to higher capacity areas will help mitigate the stress on the systems that will come with this population growth.
An emphasis on long-term planning is encouraged to help systems plan more holistically and to not take such a reactionary approach in their operations. Regionalization is often found to be effective when striving for efficiency and cost effectiveness, however, it is not always the answer, especially when it comes to quality control and concerns with disinfection by-products due to water age.