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CP463  True consequences of asset failure on service in distribution Asset Management
Project Appreciation and Objective

Historical risk assessment methods have concentrated on estimating the risk of asset failure. However, water utility consumers are not necessarily affected when assets fail since utilities take action to minimise disruption. Recent WRc research (CP435) has taken applied risk assessment methods a step further by translating probability of asset failure into probability of service failure using event tree analysis. However, to obtain a meaningful value of risk of service failure, this approach must be integrated with qualitative and quantitative consequence modelling techniques to demonstrate to Ofwat that risk of service failure - and hence the impact on end-consumers - is at the heart of water utility business planning.

Following the successful delivery of two collaborative research projects on operational risk management, the objective of this project is to further develop the methodology and application of consequence modelling to complete the understanding of risk of service failure.

Benefits to Clients

  • Improved visibility of compliance with Ofwat's risk-based business plan assessment.
  • Improved methodology for the evaluation of business case benefits (e.g. operational risk reduction) leading to the implementation of most cost-beneficial options.
  • Improved capability for modelling what-if scenarios (such as changes to pro-active measures, event response, company policy) and their impact on risk of service failure.
  • Improved retrospective failure event analysis.

Work Programme

  1. Linking consequences of service failure to asset failure.
  2. Improving consequence valuation: development of simple but defensible quantitative consequence models for four agreed service failure types (e.g. loss of supply), plus guidance and information to assist individuals to develop further consequence models.
  3. Applying risk of service failure to business planning: Use of case studies to demonstrate the use of the full risk assessment procedure for business planning purposes.

An induction seminar will be offered to new participants who did not take part in CP435.

Project Output

  • A methodology report including tabulated consequence models.
  • A spreadsheet illustrating case studies and risk assessment examples using developed consequence models.

Related WRc Work

  • Towards Integrated Distribution Management: Fault Trees and Event Trees, CP435, 2011.
  • Towards Integrated Distribution Management: Common Approach to Risk, CP399, 2011.
  • Sewerage Risk Management, CP309, 2008.
  • Distribution Operation and Maintenance Strategy, CP322, 2007.
WRc's Portfolio Programme
Summary of the £1.5 million per annum research programme

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