The project is based on the Decision Support System UtilNets for the rehabilitation management of water pipe networks. worldwide, a huge number of water pipes are reaching the end of their life expectancy. In the EU, maintenance costs of two billion ECUs annually have been reported. In England, Greece and Spain more than 25 % of water is lost due to leakage. Instead of prospective rehabilitations, too many expensive emergency repairs are performed. In this situation, information systems are needed to forecast the deterioration process and to focus rehabilitation budgets on the most important regions of each network.
In contrast to conventional systems, which are restricted to a statistical survey of the network, UtilNets takes into account all relevant environmental impacts over the whole life of individual pipes. The structural and hydraulic life expectancy of pipe segments is determined. The system optimises the individual rehabilitation policy and the ranking of rehabilitation within the whole network. It provides a profile of the network together with an assessment of rehabilitation expenditures.
In order to make the system applicable for other utilities, some parts of the modules must be made flexible. Therefore, a customiser will be developed. It will allow the user to change formulas by means of rules in terms of the expert language.
Nearly all utilities suffer from non-integrated water network information systems. An interface for risk analysis and economic results will improve the control of the relevant business processes and allow to adjust the standards towards best practice of integrated workflow.