Back to top

Assessing Government Infrastructure Programs

Maintaining and upgrading aging water infrastructure throughout NY State requires sizeable public and private investments. Various programs at different levels of governance are focused on particular aspects of infrastructure, ranging from financing of capital projects to management of municipal infrastructure systems. WRI is investigating the effectiveness of government infrastructure programs to determine whether intended benefits are being realized and to generate insight with respect to strategic management of public funds. 

Program Objectives

  1. Identify government programs central to the maintenance and improvement of NY State water resource infrastructure
  2. Assess infrastructure programs for their effectiveness in delivering stated goals
  3. Communicate results to municipalities, resource managers, and government agencies in order to inform program development

Research Questions

  • Does state revolving fund (SRF) financing lead to capital improvement projects with a demonstrable, positive impact on water quality?
  • How effective is asset management at helping municipalities operate their infrastructure systems, and is the pilot Municipal Sewage System Asset Management program structured in a way that is beneficial to NY’s various communities?
  • What are the available options for managing onsite wastewater treatments at the community level in NY? How can we best match governance models to community characteristics for maximum effectiveness?

Outreach Goals

  • Develop peer-reviewed publications that may serve as discussion starters with other academics think tanks (e.g. Resources for the Future)
  • Generate short research summaries intended for municipal decision-makers, and staff in state and federal agencies tasked with managing government infrastructure programs
  • Develop a strategy for initiating substantive dialogue with government program managers (perhaps in cooperation with the Cornell Program in Infrastructure Policy)

Select Projects & Publications

Subscribe to RSS news feed

Developing a Municipal Downspout Disconnect and Green Infrastructure Program

May 4, 2020

One solution municipalities can use to address increasing runoff is to implement residential downspout disconnect and green infrastructure programs. The result is cost savings for wastewater utilities and decreased combined sewer overflow and stormwater runoff in neighborhoods and local waterways. This guidance lays out a step by step guide to disconnect program implementation.

The Light at the End of the Culvert

May 1, 2018

M. Lung, A. Meyer, R. Marjerison & B.G. Rahm (2017) Talk of the Towns, Association of Towns of the State of New York. Vol. 31, May/June.