Water Wiki » The Wiki Blog » Guest Post: How well are you managing your assets?

Feb 19 2013

This Guest Post comes from Dr. Roland A. Bradshaw, MBA from the Centre for Strategic Asset Management Research 

In pursuing their mandate of providing good and safe drinking water, water system operators and asset owners have to work continuously towards developing and maintaining the trust and confidence of their customers.

In recent years, this goal has led to an increased emphasis for systematic and systemic assessment and management of public health risk as part of an asset management agenda. In this respect, the management of assets requires a robust approach to identify and prioritize all risks and support decision-makers in taking an appropriate course of action. It also requires evidence-based decisions on the correct course of action to take in time and by reference to cost and risk and builds on strategic planning and organisational development. Monitoring, evaluation and optimisation in asset management are supported by formal systematic processes. Tools and processes at strategic, policy and tactical level form an integrated framework to proactively and consistently identify risk, assess risks and select appropriate controls  This places risk identification, assessment and control (together, risk management) at the centre of asset management and the availability and quality of asset data at the centre of asset decision making.

A water utility’s prime objective of providing good safe drinking water that has the trust of consumers requires competencies to design, operate and maintain assets in line with the strategic objectives of an organisation. Whilst physical infrastructure is the primary asset to facilitate the production of safe drinking water, it is the human element at operational and managerial level that manages a safe system through planning, design, operation and maintenance. These core activities are embedded in organizational processes that typically involve operations management, engineering and finance departments in water utilities.

Many organisations wish to understand how well they are managing their capital assets. Based on previous professional experience and through the study of utility management in highly regulated, privatized water utilities, we have developed a best practice asset and risk management model for water utilities. The model was developed as an asset management capability maturity model to investigate asset management processes in organizations. After its initial design, we developed a benchmarking tool for utility managers to assess asset management capabilities in their water utility via self-assessments. The use of the self-assessment tool was designed to be instructive and informative.

If you are interested to conduct an assessment of your water utility, please visit


The model is free to use and contributes to my ongoing research initiative of investigating good practice asset management in organizations. The Centre for Strategic Asset Management Research is a no cost, independent, not-for profit platform for conducting timely research on topics such as asset and risk management in public utilities and municipalities.

Related Publications

Designing and Optimizing Drinking Water Treatment Processes - Peter M Huck and Marek M Sozanski 
Publication Date: Jul 2014 - ISBN - 9781843392347

Water Services Management and Governance - Tapio Katko, Petri S. Juuti, and Klaas Schwartz
 Publication Date: Oct 2012 - ISBN - 9781780400228

Compendium of Best Practices in Asset Management - J. N. Bhagwan
 Publication Date: Oct 2012 - ISBN - 9781780404622

Created by Chloe Parker on 2013/02/19 14:39