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






Asset Health Indicators - Forward Looking Metrics

Project Status Expressions of Interest

Ofwat in the Initial Asset of Plans (IAP) for PR19 have set a common action for the sector:

'The company should also provide a commitment to work with the sector to develop a robust forward looking asset health metrics and provide greater transparency of how its asset health indicators influence its operational decision making'.

Ofwat's recent horizontal audit of common measures demonstrated that even for long standing measures different companies approach their capture and collations of data differently, leading to inconsistencies.

This projects seeks to address both these issues.


Best Practice For Trunk Main Flow Monitoring Areas

Project Status Expressions of Interest

A significant number of water companies have started using Trunk Main Flow Monitoring Zones (also known as Water Balance Zones) to locate areas with leakage or unaccounted for water on the trunk mains. Data from these zones help direct leakage detection and consumption recovery efforts.
While some companies are at the maturity stage in their use of Trunk Main Flow Monitoring Zones (FMZs) others are just starting on the journey. There is no best practice or standard for the development or use of FMZs. Creating and maintaining a successful FMZ requires a high amount of effort, investment, time and energy. With future industry’s challenge to reduce leakage and UKWIR’s big question on zero leakage by 2050, it is high time a best practice is developed. The document would build on the UKWIR project: 15/WM/08/55 Leakage Upstream of District Meters, where FMZ’s are mentioned, but details on operational management of them is not.
This would result in an industry consistent approach to monitoring trunk main flow and efficient location of train main leaks.


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


When is ‘surface water removal’ the most cost beneficial solution?

Project Status Project Commenced

Removing surface water from foul or combined sewers offers a number of benefits, both in terms of reducing operational expenditure and flows (and subsequent flooding and spill frequency), as well as offering wider community benefits.

There is an increasing appetite across the water industry to consider and deliver such interventions to help manage a range of drivers, but this appetite is not matched by an in depth understanding of the scenarios and catchment characteristics that make surface water removal options more cost beneficial than traditional engineering solutions.

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