By bridging strategy, technology, business process, engineering, and operations and maintenance, WSP offers unparalleled asset management and planning expertise to clients with a focus on tactical implementation and the delivery of tangible benefits to maximize the life and value of capital assets and operations and maintenance resources, ensuring long-term operational efficiency, and financial, economic and environmental sustainability of water, wastewater and storm water infrastructure.

Worldwide, governments, municipalities, as well as owners, managers and operators of water and wastewater systems are increasingly faced with the challenges of doing more with less financial resources—expanding and sustaining safe and reliable services with aging water and wastewater assets and decreased or limited funding. With this also comes the difficulty in discerning where to invest next to optimize the use of existing assets—or even where the greatest likelihood of asset failure and risk will occur, along with their accompanying consequences.

Added to these complexities are external forces acting upon the industry as a whole to require more effective responses such as increased pressure from the public demand for improved service levels and lower costs; regulatory compliance; population growth; greater gaps between projected water supplies and water demands; business transparency; and mega trends in environmental sustainability, climate change, and infrastructure resiliency.

Whether water and wastewater systems are publicly or privately owned, are aged or underfunded, clearly the management of assets can no longer be purely reactive. A proactive approach that efficiently and effectively manages water and wastewater systems is essential to ensure long-term sustainability, resilience and security. This is where WSP’s asset management capabilities come in.

WSP’s goal is to help our clients respond to asset management drivers and customer needs in a cost-effective way by helping them set long-term goals, identify high priority gaps and opportunities, and manage their greatest risks. Our goal is also to challenge preconceived notions and assumptions in order to provide prudent and efficient capital works programs based on the client’s accepted risk profile and budget, as well as to help design sustainable tariff structures that can adequately support water and wastewater services. 

Key Benefits of WSP’s Asset Management Approach

This approach delivers key benefits: 

  • Better understanding of existing system performance and condition, as well as level of service through the development and use of robust planning tools.

  • Capital works cost saving and/or deferral potential through existing asset optimization and utilization.

  • Reduced risks in design and construction stages through development of constructible solutions which consider safety, operational flexibility and future operational needs.

  • Improved value for money by identifying solutions that satisfy technical, regulatory, environmental, economy, social and sustainability requirements.

  • Pricing structures that meet the cost of sustainability requirements for water, waste water and storm water systems

What Exactly Does Asset Management Encompass?

Asset management is an integrated strategy to manage capital assets, operating and maintenance tasks and costs, and long-term financial planning to provide appropriate levels of service. A fundamental principle in asset management is to help decision-makers resolve how to optimize the use of scarce resources to deliver service, and to demonstrate to stakeholders that capital expenditure and operational expenditure investments are focused on areas that have the biggest impact.

Building a world-class asset management program involves tackling multiple elements across strategy, process, operations and systems. Understanding where to start and how to put the pieces together into a long-term plan is the challenge. WSP’s Asset Management Capability Assessment Model provides an assessment of an organization’s asset maturity. The output is used to evaluate and benchmark an organization, and support the development of an asset management improvement program. The structure and approach ensure consistent and repeatable assessment, and provide access to a significant global benchmark pool.

How WSP Helps Clients Tackle Asset Management Challenges for the Water Industry

WSP draws on decades of experience, with core elements of our successful implementation of asset management plans and programs including helping clients to build strategic foundations, to establish service levels and performance baselines, and to develop realistic and integrated capital and financial plans.

Our expert team includes authors of and key contributors to international guidelines and best practice development, including the International Standard for Asset Management Systems and ISO 55001: 2014. Given the multiple services available within our asset management program, WSP is well positioned to address specific pain points in water, wastewater and stormwater system management. We can help clients capture and analyze data about the assets themselves—their condition, location and real value—and help them make smarter, more cost-effective decisions to better understand their largest risks and avoid critical failures within their water infrastructure.


WSP’s asset management services include:

  •  Business transformation, organizational design, culture assessment

  • ISO 55001: 2014 assessment

  • Asset Management Capability Assessment Modelling

  • Capability assessment and Improvement programs

  • Strategic and business planning

  • Financial analysis and Economic modelling

  • Regulatory support

  • Tariff structure design

  • Performance metrics and Level of Service (LOS) indicators

  • Risk and vulnerability assessment and management

  • Asset inventory, Condition assessment and Predictive modelling

  • Failure analysis

  • Capital planning and Portfolio optimization

  • Alternative delivery feasibility and Transaction support\

  • Life cycle cost and timing optimization

  • Operations and maintenance budgeting

  • Technology planning, Architecture, Strategy, and Integration

  • Data analytics and visualization

  • Training program development, training support and delivery

WSP’s comprehensive know-how within the water, wastewater and storm water sectors gives us unrivalled forecasting abilities that help optimize investment, bring cost and service level benefits, and maximize asset longevity and value. We have led implementations around the world, and have developed roadmaps on how to improve the asset management of water and wastewater systems through changing processes, developing staff and investing in technology.

For Northern Ireland Water (NI Water), a state-owned provider of water and sewerage services in North Ireland, we developed a robust risk and consequence model to target, prioritize and increase the timing and efficiency of capital maintenance interventions in the trunk main network.

We assessed financial, hydraulic, water quality, environmental and social criteria to develop statistical frequency-of-failure models, and derived an overall consequence score. Intervention works were subsequently prioritized and justified for the 3,000 km trunk and strategic water main network based on likelihood and severity of failure. The model gives NI Water unprecedented visibility of the mains most in need of intervention/mitigation and improves the risk management and resilience of the system.

In another instance, WSP assisted VA SYD, an umbrella organization formed by four municipalities in southern Sweden serving 400,000 inhabitants. Swedish municipalities are responsible for supplying populations with water and wastewater services. Sweden’s water tariff structure focuses on central tenets such as fairness and prime cost principle, where benefactors of water and wastewater services should pay no more than what is fair and equitable, and the gross revenue derived from tariffs should not exceed the utility’s total expenditure. As member municipalities differ greatly in population, rate of urbanization, density and water situation, as well as in tariff structures and water rates, WSP acted as a process leader, helping VA SYD unify its structures to best meet the overarching goal of fairness and equitability while still following the prime cost principle in each municipality.

In Australia, WSP was commissioned by Sydney Water Corporation (SWC) as one of three suppliers to assess the condition of its critical water main and sewer rising main assets. The total program of works was initially planned to be delivered by June 2016, with around 350 km of pipeline inspections. The program was extended to June 2017 and included more pipelines for inspection. The Pipeline Condition Assessment Program will provide SWC with information that will allow them to better manage their infrastructure in the future.

For South West Water, a provider of water and sewerage in the UK, WSP helped develop a vision, policy and asset strategy for best practice asset management and a roadmap on its implementation. WSP rewrote the existing draft asset management policy in alignment with the corporate vision and policies that were identified. Our team then facilitated workshops to identify the stakeholders affected by the asset management process and goals, and to generate components that made up “good asset management.”

The results of the workshop were used to refine the asset management policies and write a set of asset management strategies. The tasks to implement the strategy were further developed into a detailed three-year program of improvements that would lead to achievement of the vision and strategy.

Making Asset Management for Water and Wastewater Operational

Water is crucial to the very survival of our communities as a basic necessity for human health and well-being as well as for the production of food, for commercial and industrial processes, and for energy generation.

Ensuring an understanding of specific drivers and gaps, and focusing on initiatives that are impactful to client organizations and deliver quantifiable results are of utmost importance. While approaches may vary, the fundamental objective of adopting a “business-like” approach to the management of assets and objectively balancing risk, costs, and service level holds true.   

As clients move through the various phases of asset management improvement programs, WSP helps service providers make informed decisions on asset rehabilitation, repair and replacement; unravel real-world challenges; and improve the services they deliver through more efficient and economic use of infrastructure and facilities they manage. WSP also provides the adapted tariff structures and rates they need—doing the right work, at the right time, for the right cost.