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Title: Improving water asset management when data are sparse
Author: Dlamini, Delly
ISNI:       0000 0004 2734 9018
Awarding Body: Cranfield University
Current Institution: Cranfield University
Date of Award: 2013
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Ensuring the high of assets in water utilities is critically important and requires continuous improvement. This is due to the need to minimise risk of harm to human health and the environment from contaminated drinking water. Continuous improvement and innovation in water asset management are therefore, necessary and are driven by (i) increased regulatory requirements on serviceability; (ii) high maintenance costs, (iii) higher customer expectations, and (iv) enhanced environmental and health/safety requirements. High quality data on asset failures, maintenance, and operations are key requirements for developing reliability models. However, a literature search revealed that, in practice, there is sometimes limited data in water utilities - particularly for over-ground assets. Perhaps surprisingly, there is often a mismatch between the ambitions of sophisticated reliability tools and the availability of asset data water utilities are able to draw upon to implement them in practice. This research provides models to support decision-making in water utility asset management when there is limited data. Three approaches for assessing asset condition, maintenance effectiveness and selecting maintenance regimes for specific asset groups were developed. Expert elicitation was used to test and apply the developed decision-support tools. A major regional water utility in England was used as a case study to investigate and test the developed approaches. The new approach achieved improved precision in asset condition assessment (Figure 3–3a) - supporting the requirements of the UK Capital Maintenance Planning Common Framework. Critically, the thesis demonstrated that, on occasion, assets were sometimes misallocated by more than 50% between condition grades when using current approaches. Expert opinions were also sought for assessing maintenance effectiveness, and a new approach was tested with over-ground assets. The new approach’s value was demonstrated by the capability to account for finer measurements (as low as 10%) of maintenance effectiveness (Table 4-4). An asset maintenance regime selection approach was developed to support decision-making when data are sparse. The value of the approach is its versatility in selecting different regimes for different asset groups, and specifically accounting for the assets unique performance variables.
Supervisor: Pollard, Simon; Wu, S. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available