current replacement value for an equivalent
pipeline, even less so for pipelines installed
prior to 1980. Thus, the GASB 34-compliant
numbers that result from this exercise are
not representative of the replacement costs
that utility companies are familiar with.
The costs reported by USEPA and others for
maintenance of water infrastructure assets
run into hundreds of billions of dollars
over the next 20 years (USEPA 2009), yet
this would not be the result of a GASB-compliant analysis.
The impact of GASB 34 on drinking water
utilities is much less than some predicted
for a number of clear and understandable
reasons, with a few of the major reasons
identified above. While GASB 34 is a driver
behind asset management activities at
some utilities, it is by no means a major
driver across the country for improved
water utility asset management. Without
substantial changes to its structure, it
seems unlikely that GASB 34 will become
a major driver behind water utility asset
management activities in the near future.
Cromwell, J. Personal email correspondence with Peter Gaewski, April 2010. USEPA (U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency). 2009. Drinking Water Infrastructure Needs Survey and Assessment: Fourth Report to Congress. EPA 816-R-09-
001. Washington, DC: Office of Water, Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water, Drinking Water Protection Division.
Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB). 2010. Facts about GASB, Government Accounting Standards Board,
2010 – 2011. Norwalk, CT: GASB. http://www.gasb.org.
Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB). 2009. The User’s Perspective, Statement 34, 10 Years Later.
Norwalk, CT: GASB, http://www.gasb.org.
Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB). 1999. Statement No. 34, Basic Financial Statements—and
Management’s Discussion and Analysis—for State and Local Governments. Norwalk, CT: GASB.