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Adding Value: Recognizing the Link between Engineers and Municipal Infrastructure Finance and Governance
May 10, 2012 @ 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm
The Canadian water and wastewater deficit – the funding shortfall for necessary upgrades and new investment in infrastructure capacity – has been estimated to be in the billions of dollars. Drawing upon the political, economic, and technical history of the Southern Ontario water sector, IMFG Graduate Fellowship winner Lesley Herstein explored how short-term decision-making has often resulted in greater municipal expenditure over time on water assets. Lesley also discussed how engineering consultants and municipal engineers, with expertise in the technical, managerial, and financial aspects of municipal water infrastructure management, may be best positioned to help address the water infrastructure deficit and ensure long-term value for municipalities.
Lesley Herstein is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Toronto, and the recipient of the 2011-12 IMFG Graduate Fellowship in Municipal Finance. Her research borrows from multiple disciplines in an attempt to better understand the complex interactions linking the environmental, technical, institutional, economic, and social dimensions of the water sector in Southern Ontario. With this understanding, Lesley is exploring new approaches to water infrastructure financing, design, and management that better take into account the long-term nature of municipal water assets.