Asset Management research theme

Asset Management

The programme area includes asset location, distribution operation and maintenance strategies (DOMS) and pipeline innovation. UKWIR developed a £10 million programme of work 'Minimising Streetworks Disruption' to improve knowledge of underground assets. Other areas of research include pipeline materials and contaminated land. Leakage projects have built around the landmark 1994 'Managing Leakage' report with UKWIR's comprehensive update in 2011. The leakage projects have been prioritised to help water companies reduce leakage to their economic levels.

Programme Lead(S)

Chris Royce

Asset Management
Anglian Water Limited






Best Practice for Sediment Management for Reservoirs and River Impoundments

Project Status Project Commenced

If the removal of sediment from behind an impoundment is required, whether it be a small weir or large dam, this requires an appropriate level of authorisation and should follow good practice methods. This applies to the accompanying restoration (to the downstream river) or disposal of removed sediments and to emerging gravel augmentation schemes where gravel is extracted downstream and dispersed upstream to mitigate for sediment starvation due to reservoir impoundments. These requirements are still relatively new and the practicality of implementing the requirements should be understood and tested.

The current legislation in Scotland is the Controlled Activities Regulation under the Water Framework Directive. In England & Wales, the legislation is the Water Resources Act (1991) or the Land Drainage Act (1991) (depending on whether the works are on a main river or not). Sediment management is also one of the mitigation measures for achieving good ecological potential within Heavily Modified Water Bodies (HMWB) to achieve compliance with the Water Framework Directive.

Presently, there is a range of sediment management obligations across the UK. In England & Wales, at least one company has formal obligations to produce sediment management plans at some of their sites and have carried out isolated sediment restoration trials, whilst in Scotland & other E&W regions, it is thought that requirements and implementation are less advanced. Identification of current practice in comparison with best practice is therefore needed to ensure compliance presently and for future obligations.

Less is known about the requirements of sediment management as a mitigation measure for assessment of ecological potential of HMWB. This is an emerging issue where water companies will/have formal drivers to investigate and implement sediment management and clarity on cost-effective best practice implementation is required.


Resilience – performance measures, costs and stakeholder communication

Project Status Project Completed

The Water Act 2014 gave Ofwat a new primary duty to further the resilience objective in the water industry, including highlighting the need for long-term resilience of water and wastewater systems and service provision when faced with increasing external stresses, such as environmental pressures, population growth and changes in consumer behaviour.


For business plans, companies will need to be able to:

  • Develop measures and targets which reflect customer priorities
  • Demonstrate that proposed costs are efficient


Meeting resilience requirements will also affect supply-demand planning. Updated WRMP and Drought Plan guidance moves water resources planning away from simply testing supply systems against historic droughts, with the intention of better understanding resilience to other types of drought. For example the latest Water Resources Planning Guideline states: “By testing your plan to a number of different droughts and aligning with your drought plan, you should be able to identify areas where resilience needs to be increased to meet customer and stakeholder expectations, or government policy”.


Improving resilience can involve choosing appropriate investments in the short-term to reduce risk for future customers, where the probabilities of risks occurring and their impacts are often uncertain difficult to predict. This makes it problematic to develop measures and targets. In addition, communicating risks in order to assess customer priorities poses difficulties.


The PR14 asset inventory a simplified alternative approach

Project Status Project Completed

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