Government has not necessarily had the best reputation for efficiency, effectiveness, and common sense. However, occasionally something comes out that you cannot help but find impressive. Such is the case for Kansas City Water Services where I live in Kansas City, Missouri.
Kansas City has faced a major infrastructure challenge with its aging water, storm drain, and sewer system. Within the past few years, by leveraging a number of financing initiatives, bond programs, and various partnerships, the city is in the early stages of a major long-term rebuild of its water system. This action has been dearly needed. Last year on average, the city faced 100 water main breaks each month. That means about every eight hours another water main break was occurring. I remember at least two of them that affected my house too.
Particularly impressive to me is the “Water Main Replacement Program.” Here is how the city describes it (Kansas City Water Services, What’s On Tap? Summer 2014, p. 1):
“We will annually replace 28 miles of critical water main in areas of the city that are statistically proven to have water mains that are likely to fail. This proactive work means fewer water main breaks in the future, eventually resulting in fewer frustrating service interruptions for customer. And, once replaced, these pipes should last for up to 100 years!”
Not only is the city taking intelligent, targeted action, but also it is action that will result in an improved customer experience. It is fantastic when any organization makes a decision that improves the customer experience. It is even better when that organization is a municipality.