Theme: Integral Asset Management

We make choices for our drinking water infrastructure not just for the next few years, but for decades and sometimes even a century. However, in present times we must be able to respond much more quickly to developments, without losing our reliability. We thus consider strategic choices, such as which sources we use and which capacity our pipes should have, in an integrated manner. This relates to desired achievements as well as risks and costs (over the entire lifetime of the asset).

Motive for more research

Uncertainties in the future; for example, developments in drinking water demand and in the quality of the source, cause challenges for the drinking water infrastructure. That is because we make choices today and tomorrow that will have an influence on the distant future, while in certain cases we can only look a few years ahead from now. Therefore, we must be able to respond promptly when (unexpected) changes in quality or quantity present themselves. For this reason, we choose resilience, a combination of robust infrastructural solutions that can cope with changes without requiring adaptations, and for solutions that enhance our flexibility. Deep groundwater abstraction is such a robust solution, whereby real-time monitoring of the risks in the soil increases our flexibility. A resilient infrastructure requires other choices, procedures and ways of balancing options (see also Long-term vision ‘Resiliently ahead’).

Technological progress on for example ICT and data (modelling) provides more insight into the risks, costs and desired achievements of every step of the drinking water production process, from (the protection of) the source to the client. By knowing more, we will make and balance choices differently and we can respond more adaptively to changes. Therefore, having different options to choose from is essential.

Societal dynamics
Shortage of space, technological development, decentralisation, the demand for transparency, urbanisation, shrinkage, energy transition; all are developments that have an influence on our field of work and force us to balance our options even more accurately.

Objectives of this research theme

  • A better functioning asset management process with more insight into choices (and their motivation) and the possibility to control, manage and maintain in a changing context;
  • Insight into the risks, costs and desired achievements, from source (protection) to the client. By this we also mean social and economic developments and the (financial) condition of assets.


Resilient drinking water supply
The goal of this work package is the development of a resilient drinking water supply. To achieve an appropriate response to changes, an assessment framework is required with which to anticipate changes on the basis of information (e.g. about disruptive developments), as well as gain insight into the possibilities of enlarging the resilience of the infrastructure.

The value of assets
The goal of this work package is gaining more insight into the (actual) risks, lifetime, and (financial) valuation of our technical and natural assets. The way in which we can measure and record that is a part of this. Our focus is on recording the desired performance of a resilient infrastructure, for example, in cases such as permitting activities in the abstraction area of a well field.

Questions, recommendations or advice?Theme ambassador Rian Kloosterman can be contacted through

Projects within Integral Asset Management