Data and information systems management for urban water infrastructure condition assessment

In this mini review published in Frontiers in Water, Carriço and Ferreira draw from their personal experiences in the Portuguese water industry to present a case for better data and information management in assessing the condition of existing urban water infrastructure. The authors turn to a collection of 16 performance indicators for assessing water supply systems (WSS) or district metering areas (DMA), as well as the poor state of data management overall in water utilities, as a an impetus for improving the information systems that handle those indicators and related data. They further explain the data requirements for condition assessment of water utility assets, the importance of data integration and interoperability, and the existing barriers to getting those things correct. They close by suggesting future trends, noting however that “many small and medium size utilities worldwide are yet resistant” to such trends, while recommending that “utilities should start to investigate the data they collect and to rethink existing data models.”

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