The water utility risk integration matrix

Mark de Lange, Richard Harvey, Yi Wang and Edward McBean, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON, Canada


Municipal water utilities have traditionally been managed in isolation with little consideration of common factors affecting risk.  An integrated approach to municipal water management has great potential for increasing the resilience of these systems under future uncertainties. In a recent survey conducted by the University of Guelph as part of a Canadian Water Network funded research project, Canadian municipalities identified aging infrastructure, climate change and urbanization as the top three drivers of risk to water infrastructure.   To demonstrate the potential for an integrated approach to risk management of water infrastructure, the Water Utility Risk Integration Matrix document was developed.  This interactive document emphasizes commonalities across municipal water sectors and allows the user to quickly access relevant information on the previously identified drivers of risk.  Each chapter provides an overview of the impact each driver has on water treatment and distribution, sewage conveyance and treatment, combined sewer systems, and stormwater conveyance. The document provides direct access to additional details and external webpages containing statistics and examples for any implications of interest to the user.   Relevant guidance and case studies are also incorporated into the document with links to external data sources. This document supports widespread adoption of an integrated approach to risk management of municipal water utilities and provides a framework for further development of risk management initiatives.

Permanent link: