Concerns over the condition of water and sewerage networks and their facilities are especially topical as several countries, including Finland, are approaching a stage where their aging and deteriorating pipelines will demand extensive repair, renewal and replacement. Solving the problems related to the construction and, in particular, the maintenance of water service infrastructures requires the methods of long-term planning and strategic decision-making, which are often referred to as water utility asset management. Since maintaining the operational capacity of water service systems has a crucial role in preventing hazards to human health and to the environment, the policy-level consideration of issues related to asset management planning seems well justified. A review of the institutional governance of asset management and investment planning in countries that are facing similar challenges provides several replicable principles for the water sector in Finland. A combination of legal requirements and professionally established norms could be expected to set an appropriate balance between securing adequate service levels and allowing utilities to decide autonomously on additional improvements.

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