DENVER—HDR and Westin Engineering were awarded a research project by the American Water Works Association Research Foundation (AwwaRF) to identify the water and wastewater industries’ most pressing research needs related to asset management, then define a set of comprehensive, cohesive, and prioritized research initiatives. The results of this project will establish AwwaRF’s asset management research agenda for the next five to 10 years.

The project team, led by HDR, includes more than 30 water and wastewater utilities and subcontractors, including Westin (as co-principal investigator), American Water, and the Electric Power Research Institute.

"This project and the resulting research will guide utilities toward more effective capital planning and management of their critical infrastructure investment," said Ed Tenny, HDR senior vice president and co-principal investigator of the project. "Ultimately, that change will ensure that our nation’s utility infrastructure will continue to provide reliable drinking water and wastewater treatment for future generations, in the most cost-effective manner."

"Asset management spans many interrelated business and operational strategies and activities," said Doug Harp, Westin CEO and co-principal investigator. "Moreover, there is no lack of information, opinions, models, best practices, software, and experts on the topic. This project is a critical step to set a unified vision and research roadmap for asset management in the water industry."

Water distribution

AwwaRF also is funding a research project led by Malcolm Pirnie, Inc., to develop guidance on creating, calibrating, and applying hydraulic models for water distribution systems, including capital improvements planning, water quality, and operational studies. The research project includes a comprehensive literature review and a series of workshops at conferences in the United States and United Kingdom. Webcasts and other electronic media will provide interactive opportunities for experts and users to contribute to the final product. The outcome of this research will be an electronic guidance tool and accompanying documentation that will outline best practices for the modeling community. This project also is expected to assist utilities officials in decision making by helping them to understand the costs and benefits of different modeling approaches. The project is anticipated to be completed by spring 2008.

The research team comprises experts from the United States and Europe from Malcolm Pirnie, HDR, and the University of Exeter. Utilities from Nevada, Ohio, California, Wisconsin, Washington, Alaska, Colorado, Texas, and the United Kingdom also are participating.