Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

Benchmarking risk management practice within the water utility sector

By Brian H. MacGillivray

Abstract

Explicit approaches to risk analysis within the water utility sector, traditionally applied to occupational health and safety and public health protection, are now seeing broader application in contexts including corporate level decision making, asset management, watershed protection and network reliability. Our research suggested that neither the development of novel risk analysis techniques nor the refinement of existing ones was of paramount importance in improving the capabilities of water utilities to manage risk. It was thought that a more fruitful approach would be to focus on the implementation of risk management rather than the techniques employed per se. Thus, we developed a prescriptive capability maturity model for benchmarking the maturity of implementation of water utility risk management practice, and applied it to the sector via case study and benchmarking survey. We observed risk management practices ranging from the application of hazard and operability studies, to the use of scenario planning in guiding organisational restructuring programmes. We observed methods for their institutionalisation, including the use of initiation criteria for applying risk analysis techniques; the adoption of formalised procedures to guide their application; and auditing and peer reviews to ensure procedural compliance and provide quality assurance. We then built upon this research to develop a descriptive1 capability maturity model of utility risk analysis and risk based decision making practice, and described its case study application. The contribution to knowledge of this stage of the research was three-fold, we: synthesized empirical observations with behavioral and normative theories to codify the processes of risk analysis and risk based decision making; placed these processes within a maturity framework which distinguishes their relative maturity of implementation from ad hoc to adaptive; and provided a comparative analysis of risk analysis and risk based decision making practices, and their maturity of implementation, across a range of utility functions. The research provides utility managers, technical staff, project managers and chief finance officers with a practical and systematic understanding of how to implement and improve risk management, and offers preliminary guidance to regulators concerning how improved water utility governance can be made real

Publisher: Cranfield University
Year: 2006
OAI identifier: oai:dspace.lib.cranfield.ac.uk:1826/2797
Provided by: Cranfield CERES

Suggested articles

Citations

  1. A commentary on recent water safety initiatives in the context of water utility risk management. Environ Int. doi
  2. (1999). A model for an analytic-deliberative process in risk management, doi
  3. (2002). A worst case methodology for obtaining a rough but rapid indication of the societal risk from a major accident hazard installation, doi
  4. (1981). Acceptable risk, doi
  5. (1963). An experimental application of the Delphi method to the use of experts, doi
  6. (2004). AS/NZS 4360:2004 Risk management, Strathfield: Standards Association of Australia,
  7. (1998). Assessment of safety culture at a nuclear reprocessing plant, doi
  8. (2003). Asset risk management in Scottish Water.
  9. (2004). Australian drinking water guidelines,
  10. (1992). Behavioural decision research: A constructive processing perspective, Annu Rev Psychol., doi
  11. (1977). Behavioural decision theory,
  12. Benchmarking risk management within the international water utility sector. Part I: Design of a capability maturity methodology, doi
  13. Benchmarking risk management within the international water utility sector. Part II: A survey of eight water utilities, doi
  14. (1993). Capability maturity model, version 1.1, doi
  15. (2006). Capability maturity models for offshore organisational management, doi
  16. (2003). consultation draft, version A,
  17. (1987). Decision synthesis, doi
  18. (1999). Energy Agency/Committee on the Safety of Nuclear Organisations), Identification and assessment of organisational factors related to the safety of NPPs: state-of-the-art-report,
  19. (2002). Engineering Institute). People capability maturity model, version 2.0,
  20. (2003). FERMA (Federation of European risk management associations), A risk management standard, FERMA,
  21. (2001). Framework for management of drinking water quality,
  22. (2003). Good practice and pitfalls in risk assessment, Health and Safety Executive, research report 151,
  23. (2004). Health Organisation), Guidelines for drinking water quality, 3 rd edition,
  24. (2002). Health Organisation), Water safety plans (revised draft), Report publication WHO/SDE/WSH/02.09,
  25. (1998). Integrating technical analysis and public values in riskbased decision making, Reliab Eng Syst Safe.,
  26. (2001). ISO 9000 Quality systems handbook, 4 th edition, doi
  27. (1996). Making hard decisions, 2 nd Ed,
  28. (2001). Management strategies.
  29. (1997). Managing the risks of organizational accidents,
  30. (2002). Measurement of organizational maturity in designing safe offshore installations, doi
  31. (2005). National minerals industry safety and health risk assessment guideline,
  32. (2002). of Standards and Technology), Risk management guide for information technology systems, doi
  33. (1999). Offshore Oil Operators Association), Industry guidelines on a framework for risk related decision support,
  34. (2000). Organization for Standardization), doi
  35. (1979). Quality is free,
  36. (1996). Quality is still free,
  37. (2001). Recent paradigms for risk informed decision making, doi
  38. (2003). Reliab Eng Syst Safe.
  39. Risk analysis strategies in the water utility sector: an inventory of applications for better and more credible decision-making, doi
  40. (1998). Risk influence analysis: a methodology for identification and assessment of risk reduction strategies, Reliab Eng Syst Safe, doi
  41. (2005). Risk management capabilities – towards ‘mindfulness’ for the international water utility sector, doi
  42. (2006). Risk management frameworks for the water sector – a review, at review, doi
  43. (2003). Safe drinking water — are food guidelines the answer?
  44. (2002). Safe drinking water—lessons from recent outbreaks in affluent nations, doi
  45. (2000). SPICE: a business process diagnostics tool for construction projects, doi
  46. (2001). Testing a structured decision approach: value-focused thinking for deliberative risk communication, doi
  47. (1998). The “smart” organization: Creating value through strategic R&D,
  48. (1988). The approach to risk analysis in three industries: nuclear power, space systems, and chemical process, Reliab Eng Syst Safe., doi
  49. (2002). The construction of preference, American Psychologist, 50:364, 1995.288 SEI (Software Engineering Institute), CMMI for systems engineering / software engineering / integrated product development / supplier sourcing, version 1.1,
  50. (1994). The rise and fall of strategic planning, doi
  51. (2001). Using GIS technology to manage infrastructure capital assets,
  52. (2001). Workshop
  53. (2001). Zealand Ministry of Health), How to prepare and develop public health risk management plans for drinking-water supplies, Wellington: Ministry of Health,

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.