Framework of Sustainability Indicators for Public Water Systems




Ghamsari-Esfahani, A.
Froese, Thomas M.
Vanier, D.J.

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CSCE 1st International Specialty Conference on Sustaining Public Infrastructure


Water infrastructure systems play a major part in developed cities and municipalities. They are the main infrastructure for providing safe and reliable drinking water. Challenges in the operation of water infrastructure systems occur when changes happen to these systems such as aging, demand increase, cost of providing service, etc., and decisions must be made about retrofit or replacement actions. This situation could be improved through developing a framework to analyse the sustainable operation and maintenance of this infrastructure while also focusing on the limited budget available. This framework should contain the different pillars of sustainability, i.e. technical, environment, economy; and society. Our research showed that in order to achieve a sustainable water infrastructure system, the current state of sustainable infrastructure should be assessed. This work reviewed the state of the art in research and practice in Canada, USA and Australia and found sustainable indicators developed and used for the assessment of water systems. The research was followed by clustering all these indicators and developing a framework based on these indicators for sustainable assessment of water infrastructure. The research concluded that the sustainability of an infrastructure system can be shown by an overall sustainability score, which is based on the weighted sum of all contributing indicators.




Ghamsari-Esfahani, A., Froese, T. & Vanier, D. (2012). Framework of Sustainability Indicators for Public Water Systems. Paper presented at CSCE 1st International Specialty Conference on Sustaining Public Infrastructure, Edmonton, AB.