Data-driven asset management in urban water pipe networks: a proposed conceptual framework
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionJournal of Hydroinformatics. 2021, 23 (5), . 10.2166/hydro.2021.068
Analytical tools used in infrastructure asset management of urban water pipe networks are reliant on asset data. Traditionally, data required by analytical tools has not been collected by most water utilities because it has not been needed. The data that is collected might be characterised by low availability, integrity and consistency. A process is required to support water utilities in assessing the accuracy and completeness of their current data management approach and defining improvement pathways in relation to their objectives. This study proposes a framework to enable increased data-driven asset management in pipe networks. The theoretical basis of the framework was a literature review of data management for pipe network asset management and its link to the coherence of set objectives. A survey to identify the current state of data management practice and challenges of asset management implementation in five Swedish water utilities and three focus group workshops with the same utilities was carried out. The main findings of this research were that the quality of pipe network datasets and lack of interoperability between asset management tools are drivers for creating data silos between asset management levels, which may hinder the implementation of data-driven asset management. Furthermore, these findings formed the basis for the proposed conceptual framework. The suggested framework aims to support the selection, development and adoption of improvement pathways to enable increased data-driven asset management in municipal pipe networks. Results from a preliminary application of the proposed framework are also presented.