Pathways to Improving U.S. Damage Prevention
For more than half a decade, the rate of damage to underground infrastructure in the U.S. has increased or remained stagnant. The hundreds of thousands of individual damages that occur across the country each year cost communities approximately $30 billion annually, according to analysis from the 2019 DIRT Report.
The Common Ground Alliance (CGA) launched its Next Practices Initiative in 2020 to address the damage prevention industry’s most persistent challenges and systemic inefficiencies, with the goal of achieving the next significant reduction in damages to buried utilities. The Next Practices Initiative is led by an Advisory Committee of damage prevention leaders and guided by industry data, quantitative surveys and stakeholder input. In February 2021, CGA published the Next Practices Report to the Industry, which identified three critical issues standing in the way of preventing damages and proposed four of the highest-ROI opportunities for improving the damage prevention system as a whole.