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Project Summary Project Description Application of Tools Opinion of Tools Decision making process Contact Details

Project description

Name of the case study
Rehabilitation of water supply network in urban fields (CARE-W-ARP)

Description of context

Water Department of cities, which are in charge of the management of the water supply network, are more and more aware about the fact that the state of health of their infrastructures is not good enough and even not known. Water supply infrastructures represent an important asset that has to be managed to the best way as possible because it represents a huge economical investment.

The overall goal of the tool implementation is to propose a proactive management of the water supply network. It means that water utilities predict failures or deficiencies of the pipe before it occurs. Therefore the curative management, which consists on rehabilitation of the pipe when the deficiency has occurred, can be reduced. Of course, if the global state of water supply network is good, proactive management will be more efficient and relevant that if the global state is bad. The use of CARE-W-ARP allows producing rehabilitation priorities related to impacts of breaks or internal condition of the pipe (corrosion for example).

Description of project - background

The entry point is a tool CARE-W-ARP. This multi-criterion decision support tool enables analysis over the whole water supply network, sectors or clusters of pipes in order to produce a prioritised list of rehabilitation pipes for an annual rehabilitation investment programme.

Care-W-ARP is a component of the European Project CARE-W (Computer Aided Rehabilitation of Water Network, February 2001- January 2004) funded by the European Community. This project deals with the public water supply networks and their problems of ageing such as structural failures, insufficiencies and leakages (affecting hydraulic reliability), deteriorating water quality and increasing maintenance costs that impact on urban environment. The ultimate goal of the project is to develop tools that provide the most cost-efficient system of maintenance of water distribution networks, with the aim to guarantee a security of water supply that meets social, health, economic and environmental requirements.

Description of project - objectives/aims

The CARE-W objective is to establish a rational framework for water network rehabilitation decision-making including methods and software that will enable municipal engineers to establish and maintain effective management of water supply networks, rehabilitating the right pipe at the right time by using the right rehabilitation technique at a minimum total cost, before failure occurs. This is a pro-active approach.

Within definitions of CARE-W objectives, it would be possible to find, even if it was not formulated with that purpose at the beginning of the project, the links with firstly the asset management of urban infrastructures and secondly with sustainable development dimensions.

To date some technical tools for assessing the state of the pipes or the need for rehabilitation have been developed or are under development in several European Research Centres and Universities. But these tools do not take into account all aspects of rehabilitation decisions, and have only been applied to a limited number of water services. The tools need to be tested and validated on more water services and to be aggregated and linked with those performance indicators that are the decision criteria of rehabilitation.

The specific objectives of the project are to improve these tools and to make them usable in formulating a rehabilitation policy. The final product of the project will be a Decision Support System for rehabilitation including:
• a control panel of Performance Indicators (PI) for rehabilitation,
• technical and statistical tools assessing and forecasting some of the PIs,
• a procedure to support the construction of an annual rehabilitation program (ARP),
• a procedure to define the best strategy for planning rehabilitation investments (long term: 10 to 20 years)
• a software, called "prototype" that will allow the use of the above products with the existing data of the respective water utility.

Description of project - time interval and stages
The project started in February 2001, and finished in January 2004

Description of project - financing
The project was funded by the European Community.

Description of project - other sectors involved

What tools were used to assess sustainability?


More information

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