Balancing cost, risk and performance

With a history of pipe collapses, blockages and overflows, Icon Water’s sewer network was lagging behind the performance of other Australian cities. They turned all this around with a set of strategic objectives centered on people, asset management, financial sustainability, and customer outcomes. Central to success was developing asset-planning analytics and predictive modeling tools for better decision making.

Icon Water protects and supports the community and the environment by providing high quality drinking water and wastewater services to the Australian Capital Territory and surrounding regions. Their water and sewerage network is over 6,440km of pipeline delivering more than 100 megaliters of water each day and treating over 29 gigalitres of wastewater each year. They serve approximately 400,000 residential, commercial, government and other customers.

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Simon Evans

Sales Operations Manager

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A fresh approach

We worked with them to create a fresh approach to maintenance and investment planning, balancing cost, risk and performance for smart, data-driven decision making.

Using our Enterprise Decision Analytics (EDA) solution, we developed an analytics-led approach to maintenance and investment decisions, the first of its kind in Australia. Through innovative data analyses and modeling we identified a range of options from which Icon Water could select a single scenario as the basis of its business plan, enabling them to:  

  • Identify areas at high risk of blockages or collapse events;

  • Understand the potential onset of secondary consequences such as internal surcharge and external overflows or pollution events. These are often more important to customers than the original blockages or collapse;

  • Determine future impacts on projected service levels, as well as overall benefits and costs under different investment and intervention scenarios.

The project gave Icon Water a clear understanding of the balance of cost, risk, and performance of the network, resulting in: 

  • Investment efficiencies: identifying ways in which risk and performance could be maintained with a reduced budget

  • Improved network performance, customer experience and reduced risk

  • Informed dialogue: internal and external stakeholders were able to understand the implications of different performance, risk and cost requirements

  • Deliverable plan: an investment scenario related to specific assets and interventions for delivery over five years

  • Targeted data collection: CCTV surveys can now be targeted on high risk assets

“For Icon Water, this approach has delivered clear articulation and understanding of the balance of cost, risk, and performance with regard to our sewer network. The application is the first of its kind in Australia.”
Andrew Behn, Project Lead at Icon Water