Knowledge exchange and stimulation of integrated asset management research

In this project within the Joint Research Programme of KWR and the water utilities, knowledge-exchange meetings were organised to define the building blocks, which water utilities can use to construct an integrated decision-making framework for their assets. The development of such building blocks in other Joint Research Programme research was stimulated and an advisory note prepared on how water utilities can shape integrated asset management.

Integrated asset management evaluation framework

In 2016, the Coordination Consultation Committee, with input from the then Asset Management theme group of the Joint Research Programme, examined whether and how the subject of strategic/integrated asset management could be given shape within the programme. It was concluded that there was a need for an integrated evaluation framework for effective asset management and for alternative set-ups for the water provision, which incorporated matters like risk management and reputation risk.

In various Joint Research Programme projects building blocks were proposed to shape and underpin the asset management of water utilities. More and more water utilities are ISO 55000 certified in this area. What is still in the early stages is the determination of how individual building blocks within different activities in the water utility (abstraction, production, distribution and delivery of drinking water) can be compared with and weighed against each other. This is needed for an accurate decision-making about assets (integrated asset management), and for an integrated decision-making about the transition from the current operational management to other asset operational management systems.

The mission of the joint Integrated Asset Management research was to develop frameworks and scientific solutions that assist the water utilities in improving their integrated decision-making about assets, with the objective of creating an evaluation framework for integrated asset management. To this end, the following two tracks were followed (see also the Six-Year plan):

  • Track 1:  Conduct research of an integrated character.
  • Track 2:  Provide a platform to stimulate the interaction between practical applications and theory.

Vision formulation on integrated asset management

In this project we worked jointly with water utilities on the formulation of a vision for integrated asset management. We developed the details of Track 2 by organising knowledge-exchange meetings about (new) building blocks for integrated AM decision-making and their interconnections. The subjects discussed during in these meetings connected with the research projects in Track 1.

Together with the utilities: learning from practice

This project had the following outcomes:

  1. Practical experience in the area of integrated asset management and research results from Track 1 were (interactively) shared in knowledge-exchange meetings (Track2), discussed with the water utilities and succinctly laid out, with recommendations for further applications, and published in H2O.
  2. International insights and state-of-the-art techniques in the area of asset management were shared with the water utilities. Following participation in an international congress on asset management, feedback was given on the findings to the water utilities.
  3. A comprehensive advisory note was prepared on the basis of research projects (Track 1) and the knowledge-exchange meetings (Track 2) about the application of integrated asset management at water utilities. This was based on the framework of the Institute of Asset Management (see Six-Year plan).