The American Water Works Association (AWWA) and ASME Innovative Technologies Institute, LLC (ASME-ITI) have announced the formation of a partnership to develop a national voluntary consensus standard encompassing an all-hazards risk management process for use by water and wastewater utilities.

The standard will be based on RAMCAPSM, the acronym for Risk Analysis and Management of Critical Asset Protection. With assistance from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Water Sector Coordinating Council, ASME-ITI tailored the general version of RAMCAP to apply to water and wastewater utilities and adapt two pre-existing tools to be RAMCAP consistent. The standard will build on that effort and include protection (avoiding hazardous events or their consequences), and resilience (rapid return to full function after those events that occur).

By using common definitions, threats, metrics and methods to directly compare risk, resilience, and risk management benefits, the RAMCAP standard will help guide the allocation of limited funds among diverse assets within a utility, across utilities in different communities, and among assets in sectors of critical infrastructure.

This standard will be developed by a committee of volunteers representing water and wastewater utilities, practitioners, academics, and the interested public. ASME-ITI will serve as Secretariat and the effort will proceed according to ASME-ITI's procedures for standards development.

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) will review the standard. Approval by ANSI is required for a standard to be issued as an American National Standard.

"We welcome the partnership with AWWA and are eager to develop a voluntary consensus standard for the water and wastewater sector," said ASME-ITI President J. Reese Meisinger. "The standard will build upon previously developed RAMCAPSM water sector methodology to provide a basis for enabling utilities to make well-founded decisions when allocating necessarily limited resources toward risk-reduction options."

"The work our committee members do will ultimately enhance our sector's risk assessment capabilities through a practical, yet rigorous process," said AWWA Deputy Executive Director Tom Curtis. "The approach will be kept relatively simple and intuitive while providing a sound basis for focusing on the most critical assets at any given facility."

ASME Innovative Technologies Institute, LLC (ASME-ITI) is a wholly owned, not-for-profit subsidiary of ASME (the American Society of Mechanical Engineers).