Asset Management

IHE Delft Asset Management

Target Audience

Engineers and managers of organizations involved in water, wastewater, drainage and flood management in cities. However, this course assumes very little as pre-requisites, so, if you are from another discipline, but interested in the content, you are welcome to apply.


Water systems in the developing world are often not equipped to formulate sound maintenance plans, backed by state-of-the-art knowledge and tools. This lack of capacity renders the enormous investments on water infrastructure, mobilized by, among other initiatives, the SDGs, to be unsustainable. Asset management (1) is an essential component in the maintenance and improvement of services in water systems including utilities, irrigation systems and flood protection and water management infrastructure.

It requires the identification of most critical components of networks, life-cycle cost analysis and minimizing negative impacts of (inevitable) failures. This approach is vitally important for the urban centres of the South, as performance demands increasing with population at a phenomenal rate. This three week course exposes you to the principles and the state-of-the-art practice of Asset Management.

(1) Asset Management: The practice of managing the entire lifecycle (creation, maintenance, renewal, expansion, full/partial decommissioning) of a physical system that delivers some service(s).
While the principals learned will be universally valid for managing of any type of asset, in this course, the prime focus is on the asset management of urban water infrastructure systems, namely, water supply and drainage/sewerage systems. All the examples/case studies will be drawn from these two areas.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion, the participant should be able to:
- Explain the historical processes that made asset management approach important for urban infrastructure engineers and managers and describe the drivers that make asset management crucial for sustainable provision of water related infrastructure services
- Define asset management in your own words. List and describe the essential steps of an asset management plan and provide example problems from one's own experience which asset management approach would be/would have been able to solve;
- Describe the techniques used in asset inventories (e.g. condition rating) and describe the importance of data for asset management process.
- Define databases and describe what a relational database is. Design a simple relational database (on paper!). List the three-week features of a relational database and appraise the use of lifecycle models in Asset Management. - Describe sample approaches
- Explain Risk-based asset management decision making. Apply hydraulic modelling to establish the significance of asset components of water distribution/drainage systems;
- Describe asset condition modelling approaches. Recommend suitable modelling approaches for practical problems and appraise the recent developments in the field of Asset Management of water infrastructure.
Describe the concept of asset life-cycle costing. Perform LCC calculations using spreadsheet; o Describe the role of optimization in asset management. Apply optimization techniques for solving simple urban water problems.