Urban Water Infrastructure Renewal: Assessment of Quantities, Costs, and Quality of Materials

Abstract

Any world’s metropolis requires urban public water networks composed by thousands of kilometres of pipelines and various other installations. Such infrastructure ensemble is expected to be in service for rather long periods of time, as it involved decades of costly investments. Anyway, and independently of careful operation and maintenance of such assets, eventually and unavoidable they will decay and will need replacement. This will occur sooner when soil conditions, or operation and maintenance is unfavourable. The paper explores typical and general problems for renewing infrastructure, with examples from specific studies for some Mexican cities and from other countries found in literature. Also mentions usual materials and elements and their life spans under different conditions, along with replacement techniques and probable costs.

The topics, elements and focuses of attention around water infrastructure renewal are broad and varied and must cover the WHY, HOW, WHEN, WHERE, and WITH WHAT money. They range from technical, constructive and diagnosis tasks, to institutional organization, financial and public awareness. As it is impossible to cover everything in a single paper, the present one is a modest intent to give a brief panorama of the state of the art on several of those issues and focuses. The paper underlines and gives recommendations regarding gaps and needs requiring research, as well as the production of more technical papers and discussion forums particularly in Mexico and the Latin America Regions.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References

  1. 1.

    Anal E., Bauwens1 W., et al. “Investigating the effects of specific sewer attributes on sewer ageing – a Belgian case study”. 11th International Conference on Urban Drainage, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK, 2008.

  2. 2

    ASCE, “Failure to Act: The Economic Impact of Current Investment Trends in Water & Wastewater Treatment Infrastructure”, report prepared fort the American Society of Civil Engineers by the Economic Development Research Group, Inc. Boston, USA, 2011.

  3. 3

    AWWA, “Reinvesting in Drinking Water Infrastructure. Dawn of the Replacement Era. An Analysis of Twenty Utilities’ Needs for Repair and Replacement of Drinking Water Infrastructure”, AWWA, A Study Sponsored by the AWWA Water Industry Technical Action Fund, May 2001.

  4. 4.

    Baur Rolf, “Ageing and renewal of urban water infrastructure”, Dresden, Germany. 2007.

  5. 5.

    Baur Rolf, Herz Raimund, “Selective inspection planning with aging forecast for sewer types”. Technische Universität Dresden, 2002.

  6. 6.

    Buenfil R. Mario, “Comparativo de Proyecciones financieras, con modelo Planeafil, para las ciudades de Monterrey, Puebla y León”, IMTA, Mexico, 2010.

  7. 7.

    Buenfil R. Mario, “Cobros por Factibilidad de expansión de servicios urbanos”, libro: Autoanálisis latinoamericano sobre conflictos y gestión de servicios urbanos de agua y saneamiento, 2011.

  8. 8

    EPA, “Condition assessment Technologies for Water Transmission and distribution systems”, Environmental Protection Agency, USA, 2012.

  9. 9.

    Hernández Chavarriaga Luz Angela, “Modelo Decisional para la Reposición y Rehabilitación de Redes de Alcantarillado del Valle de Aburrá”, Universidad Nacional de Colombia Facultad de Minas, Escuela de Geociencias y Medio Ambiente, Medellín, Colombia, 2011.

  10. 10.

    IMTA (Bourguett, Ochoa and Rodriguez), “Guía Técnica de rehabilitación de tuberías de agua potable, Instituto Mexicano de Tecnología del Agua, 1999.

  11. 11.

    Ortiz Rendón Gustavo, “Algunos apuntes sobre la corrupción en el sector agua”, libro: Autoanálisis latinoamericano sobre conflictos y gestión de servicios urbanos de agua y saneamiento, 2011.

  12. 12.

    Penn State University and PBS, “Liquid assets. The Story of USA water infrastructure” (video), 2009

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Rodriguez, M.B. Urban Water Infrastructure Renewal: Assessment of Quantities, Costs, and Quality of Materials. MRS Online Proceedings Library 1612, 16 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1557/opl.2013.1127

Download citation