Building a new waste-treatment plant requires a great deal of planning. There are several stages in the construction of any major factory, and numerous crucial decisions must be made during those stages. Failure to select the most optimal option can lead to the construction process being either delayed or extended or to the finished product not being functional, ultimately resulting in additional costs. This paper will provide recommendations for Mayor Jim Watson on the decision-making process of building a waste-treatment plant in the City of Ottawa.
Before any official rulings are made, it is essential to understand how a waste-treatment facility works and can be constructed to determine the scope of decisions made by the Mayor. Waste-treatment plants are usually based on the Integral Water Cycle process, which includes the collection of wastewaters, treatment, purification, and reuse (Sociedad Ibérica de Construcciones Eléctricas). The last step in the process is returning the purified water to the natural environment. The facility must be equipped for the three stages of treatment with sufficient space allotted to the various parts of the plant. A logical sequence of the facilities also should be secured. In addition, “the topographical and geotechnical characteristics of the land” should be considered when planning the construction (Sociedad Ibérica de Construcciones Eléctricas). The plant should be economical, comply with the current health and safety regulations, and produce a negligible amount of atmospheric emissions and odors (Sociedad Ibérica de Construcciones Eléctricas). Overall, the Mayor must make several decisions to ensure that the construction of a waste-treatment facility in the City of Ottawa is warranted.
The Planning Stage
The first stage of the decision-making process is the choice of the geographical location of the plant. The Mayor needs to engage a team to find the most appropriate site for the facility that will be easy for the future staff to commute to but at a distance from any major residential areas. A waste-treatment plant is likely to produce odors and unavoidable atmospheric waste. Thus, selecting a plot near a suburban neighborhood can result in numerous complaints from the residents. Therefore, it is important to check the up-to-date city-planning requirements and regulations to ensure the plant is constructed on a plot of land located at a safe distance from local residential districts. In addition, the topographical and geotechnical characteristics of the selected site must be assessed to certify it can be used for the building of a waste-treatment facility. The Mayor is recommended to employ a surveyor team to ensure the plot has the correct characteristics for the planned structure and construction work.
Furthermore, if an appropriate site is selected, the building cannot begin until an ecological impact assessment is performed. It is imperative to ensure that the construction of a waste-treatment plant is unlikely to damage the local protected flora and fauna. The assessment should reveal whether the construction work and the future work of the facility are going to damage or significantly alter the habitat of local species. Overall, it will determine whether the impact can be minimized or avoided or whether no construction work should be completed on the site. It is recommended to perform the ecological impact assessment after the plot is assessed for its topographical and geotechnical characteristics.
After the appropriate plot of land is selected and thoroughly assessed, the Mayor is recommended to search for a construction company. The construction contract can be put out to tender for the companies to present their offers. It is advised to select the company based on experience and cost-effectiveness. For example, a company with no experience building waste-treatment facilities but with the lowest price should not be awarded the contract. The lack of practical knowledge can lead to the facility not being functional and requiring frequent repairs, leading to the accumulation of additional costs. All the companies applying for the contract should be carefully evaluated with their previous projects being taken into consideration. After the construction firm is selected, the rest of the steps include choosing the equipment supplier and the management company for the facility. A detailed cost-benefit analysis is recommended for both choices.
The Decision-Making Model
During this stage, the Mayor should utilize a rational-comprehensive decision-making model. This model suggests “a comprehensive review of all possible solutions when making decisions” (Prunty 999). In particular, the model focuses on every ruling’s financial aspect with a cost-benefit analysis often implemented to make the optimal choice (Prunty 1000). The selected model is recommended for this case, as it is relatively easy to execute. A comprehensive model requires a problem that needs a solution, a range of possible options, and knowledge of the possible outcomes of each of the provided choices (Prunty 1000). In addition, the decision-makers should have a comprehensive baseline of information on the project to perform the analysis of each alternative and thorough knowledge of what selection will be deemed acceptable by the citizens (Prunty 1000). The main problem that requires a solution is already known: Ottawa requires an additional waste-treatment facility built. Several challenges arise from the solution to the primary issue: the absence of the building site, construction firm, equipment supplier, and the waste-treatment facility management company. Each of these issues can be resolved with the use of the rational-comprehensive model.
It has to be noted that the chosen model has both advantages and disadvantages. This process’s main advantage is that it allows one to deal with a wide range of problems and make the optimal choice. The model requires the decision-makers to gather a vast amount of information on each available option to evaluate each of them thoroughly. However, the model is highly time-consuming due to the quantity of data needed to solve every problem. In addition, it also requires vast human resources for each analysis and evaluation, leading to many additional costs. Overall, the proposed plan is straightforward and permits comprehensive governing of each of the issues that arise from the main identified problem. Although it is time-consuming and requires substantial financial investment, it will also allow the Mayor to arrive at the optimal verdict at every stage of constructing a waste-treatment plant from planning to the launch.
In summary, the Mayor of Ottawa is recommended to employ a rational-comprehensive decision-making model when overseeing the construction of a new waste-treatment facility in the city. In the planning stage, Jim Watson is advised to hire a team that will locate a plot of land for the site of the plant and will perform the evaluation of its topographical and geotechnical characteristics and the environmental impact assessment. The next stages include selecting a building company and, after the construction is finished, the equipment supplying firm and a management group for the plant.
Prunty, Renee. “Comprehensive Model of Decision-Making.” Global Encyclopedia of Public Administration, Public Policy, and Governance, edited by Ali Farazmand, Springer International Publishing, 2017, pp. 999-1002.
Sociedad Ibérica de Construcciones Eléctricas. “Design and Construction of Waste Water Treatment Plants (WWTP).” SICE, 2016, Web.