Smart Engineering and AGBAR continue their collaboration with the aim of developing tools and models for the prioritization of the renewal of the pipeline network for water distribution through sustainable development. At the end of last 2016, Smart Engineering finalized the project that had as object the city of Barcelona. Currently, the tool is being extended to the entire Metropolitan Area of ​​Barcelona.

Because resources are limited, it is impossible to renew the entire desirable distribution network as a whole, and consequently, identifying which renewal investments to carry out becomes a critical activity. In the past, these investments were prioritized according to purely and exclusively monetary criteria (based on the Internal Rate of Return or IRR). However, as part of this H2020 Strategic Plan, AGBAR, ​​assisted by the company Smart Engineering, has implemented a MIVES management methodology to prioritize the maintenance of the water distribution network under sustainable criteria (ie considering aspects Economic, social and environmental).

The Prioritization Index for the Renewal of the Water Distribution Network aims to evaluate the impact or risk that, from the point of view of sustainability, has each section of pipeline in case of non-renewal. Thus, those sections with the greatest impact on sustainability are those that must be prioritized, and consequently renewed.

The concept of sustainability applied to a water distribution network is understood as the ability of the network to continue operating maintaining the levels of quality of service desired by customers without restricting or affecting the options available to present and future generations, nor cause Adverse impacts within and outside the urban border and the network itself

Taking this premise as a reference has considered the economic, environmental and social impact or risk of not renewing each section of the distribution network in the decision tree. To this end, only the most significant and discriminatory indicators have been considered. The consequences of non-renewal are evaluated here with respect to each and every one of the sustainability indicators of the decision tree. In total 3 requirements, 5 criteria and 8 indicators (the weight of each requirement, criterion and indicator was obtained through AHP, with the different Aigües de Barcelona relationship groups). The consistency, representativeness and objectivity of the criteria and impact / risk indicators considered in each requirement will guarantee the goodness and credibility of the results.

The Economic Requirement values ​​the use that would be given to economic resources in case of executing the renewal of each tranche. The objective is to make the most of every euro invested, which is why this requirement only considers the Investment criterion. The main indicator of this requirement is the IRR or Internal Rate of Return, which corresponds to the return offered by an investment and which is modified by the criticality of the tranche.

The objective of the Environmental Requirement is to prioritize those sections with greater risk to the habitat, that is to say, to renew the sections whose impact on the environment is greater in case of failure. The two criteria considered in this requirement are the risks of water loss, which includes latent leaks such as leakage due to damage and the loss of energy used to drive the water up to each stage.

The Social Requirement is responsible for assessing the consequences (direct and indirect) that can in case of failure in a section of the network would generate both people, in terms of historical involvement to customers, service pressure level and water quality , As well as to the city, in terms of affecting mobility, other underground infrastructures and failure to take advantage of repair opportunities derived from works of other services.