Water supply is indispensable for our daily life and productive activities. However, ageing facilities and severe business environment such as natural disasters have imposed heavy pressure on water supply system. We offer various services for water utilities to overcome such challenges, incorporating our accumulated know-how/experiences, the latest technologies and the results from our own R&D.
Water supply system in Japan, like other countries, shall be financially self-independent. While securing revenues by providing good, reliable services to and collecting tariff from customers, water utilities have to seek for efficient business operation and cost reduction.
In order to work on efficient water supply management, it is in the first place essential to prepare a business plan from short-, mid-, to long-term perspectives. We, as consultants, have been partnering a lot of water utilities to help them understand deeply their current situation, problems and challenges, then elaborate a suitable master plan to overcome these challenges in coming decades.
In this work, we put importance on figuring out the "real" situation. Carrying out interviews and site survey is the important first step. Hydraulic simulation and water quality survey are also undertaken on necessity. For future planning, water demand projection is the very basic but, at the same time, the most essential part, with which we have been well experienced by examining the best-fit statistical method. Any existing sub-planning such as rehabilitation or expansion shall also be integrated in the master plan.
Finally, necessary projects and works for problem solution are determined and prioritized which are then subject to cost estimation and financial simulation.
Many times in the past, Japan has been exposed to threats of various natural disasters and it will continue so in the future. Critical one of such disasters is, of course, an earthquake. This harsh environment has left no choice to water utilities in Japan but to strengthen their facilities to endure severe earthquakes. In other word, Japan is one of the most developed nations in regards to planning and designing earthquake-resistant system.
Important perspectives are;
・Resistance of each facility
・Resistance as a whole water supply system
・Emergency actions in case of earthquake
・Rapid recovery from damage
Thus, diagnosis of the facilities and water supply system as a whole is fundamental part to start with. We have elaborated a sophisticated way of simulating damage caused by earthquake. Then the process goes to specific design for earthquake resistant system. However, implementing reinforcement for all the facilities can be very costly. Alternative countermeasures shall be prioritized considering the importance and the scale of each facility.
As water facilities age and demand for replacement/rehabilitation grows, a concept of asset management with emphasis on efficient investment has emerged. Renewal of ageing facilities and pipelines, nevertheless, is a good opportunity to improve or restructure the water supply system toward more suitable one.
Our consulting for such planning focuses on;
・Necessity of replace/rehabilitation by objective criteria
・Prioritization of replacement projects with relevancy with other existing plans
・Elaboration of business plan aiming at system improvement
・Securing financial basis by asset management in consideration of possible investment amount
Water supply system is operated according to raw water quality and other environmental factors. Its safety is basically secured by complying with the related standards stipulated by laws and regulations. However, in order to further improve the safety of water supply, there are various risks related to the water quality such as accidental spillage of industrial wastewater, trouble of treatment facilities, aging of facilities, etc.
Water Safety Plan aims to identify the hazards that are present in the water supply system from the water source to the tap and aims to ensure safe water supply by continuous monitoring and control.