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A performance-based, decision support process for flood defence asset management

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Richard Dawson, Professor Jim Hall


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Performance-based asset management is a process of managing an infrastructure system in order to optimise its behaviour when evaluated against specified objectives. It enables prioritisation of investment in flood defence infrastructure construction, inspection and maintenance. It is risk-based, in that costs of alternative interventions in the flood defence system are weighed against their benefit in terms of flood risk education. It also has to take account of the multiple objectives for flood management, including economic efficiency, the environment and safety. A new approach to representing the performance of a flood defence system has been developed by the authors. The flood defence system is represented hierarchically providing an overview of system performance as well as more detailed insights into the performance of specific assets. Performance is measured by a set of Performance Indicators held in a database. These Performance Indicators are projected through value functions reflecting organisational objectives and regulatory standards and are merged to generate a Figure of Merit for the system and each sub-system. The Figure of Merit forms the basis for asset management decisions. Uncertainty in the available evidence is represented and propagated through the hierarchy, providing a commentary on sources and implications of uncertainty. A case study for the flood defence system surrounding a town demonstrates how the methodology provides insights into system performance and can be used to explore different asset management decisions.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Dawson RJ, Hall JW, Davis J

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers: Water Management

Year: 2004

Volume: 157

Issue: 1

Pages: 35-44

ISSN (print): 1741-7589

ISSN (electronic): 1751-7729

Publisher: Thomas Telford Ltd.


DOI: 10.1680/wama.


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