Across the United States, small public water systems struggle to bridge the vast gap between infrastructure funding and needs. A new mobile app developed by UMass Amherst’s WINSSS Center adds flexibility and ease for the small and rural communities poised to tackle this challenge.
The CUPSS Mobile Assistant offers phone- and tablet-based data entry on both Android and iOS devices for water systems conducting an asset inventory, the first step in developing an infrastructure asset management plan.
The information collected is compatible with U.S. EPA’s Check Up Program for Small Systems (CUPSS) asset management software, but can also be used with other applications. CUPSS is a free, user-friendly desktop application for small public water systems new to asset management.
According to the American Water Works Association, an estimated $1 trillion is needed over the next 25 years to maintain water infrastructure in the United States. More than 97% of the nation’s public water systems are also considered small, serving 10,000 or fewer people.
An asset management plan created with CUPSS provides a big picture look at the facility’s current and future maintenance needs. The new Mobile Assistant app exports a CUPSS-compatible spreadsheet of the water system’s assets, allowing the water system operator to work in the plant and on site, reducing the need to enter handwritten data in the office.
An asset management plan is an important tool for communicating financial needs to local decision makers and funding agencies. Having a plan also demonstrates wherewithal, a key factor in obtaining loan and grant funding in an increasingly competitive environment.
The CUPSS Mobile Assistant App can be found on the Apple (iOS) Store and Google Play Store
The CUPSS Desktop software can be downloaded from the EPA's website here.