Operational-Risk Management in Water Supply Systems

Incomplete planning and untimely or incorrectly performed maintenance are examples of risk factors for operational failure. When a potential risk materializes, the resulting disruption of water supply can compromises the company's strategic goal of maintaining reliability and availability of the water supply.

As part of the "Operational Risk Management in Water Supply Systems" pilot, company experts at the facility conducted an in depth mapping of the operational knowledge acquired over the years at the company. This priceless know-how has been implemented in a digital decision-support system for managing operational risks.

This system, developed by the Israeli company White Cyber Knight (WCK), is currently being test-run as a potential solution that will permit Mekorot to establish a computerized tool for identifying operational risks of the kind that can disrupt water supply or compromise water quality.

The WCK system will form the computerized infrastructure for bottom-up facility-level risk management. Its capabilities will facilitate operational risk management at several hierarchical levels (region, supply unit, facility).

פרסום

The system will be established in several stages:

Step 1: Infrastructure – Map network elements and assets at the specific facility or zone, define associations between elements and assets; identify risks for each element and the actions necessary to mitigate the risk.

Step 2: Surveys – Generate questionnaires regarding risk assessment; the system generates the questionnaires and inputs their results.

Step 3: Risk map – Digital views (in outline and drilling down) showing operational risk level for each part of the system, including impact on other systems. The system ranks risks by severity, indicating which risks need immediate attention and what can be done to mitigate the risk. The system runs continuously so that any change in availability of an element immediately affects risk assessment for all systems associated with that element.

Risk mapping for elements is modular. This means that once risks have been defined for a specific element, e.g. a well, the same module can be applied to other wells in the system, company-wide.

This system can also generate a chart describing a site and its components, and use the map to create contexts that emphasize how a problem at one point impacts other points. For example, an engine malfunction at a well, severe enough to disrupt pumping, will then cause a problem down the line at the desalination facility which relies on a water supply from that well.

This pilot was conducted in cooperation with the Risk-Management Unit and Watech® at Mekorot head office and with the Central Negev, and South Yarkon Water Supply Units. Several meetings were held for this pilot with the team on the ground at the desalination plants Neve Zohar and Granot to identify potential risks in their work processes and in various elements of the water supply system (desalinators, raw-water wells, produced water and concentrate lines). After a series of brain-storming sessions and focal interviews with the key professionals, the gathered knowledge was implemented in the system. Next, similar risks were identified at other facilities through review and debriefing processes. The net result of this process was the establishment of a knowledge retention process for preserving the comprehensive know-how from the professionals in the field.

The system's final output is a dashboard with a visual analysis that is based on the input parameters. This allows the risk manager to focus on specific risks and understand the components of risk hotspots at the different sites, addressing those with a higher risk level and prioritizing their management.

פרסום

Sample dashboards and analytic tools in the WCK system

(Data shown in the images is demo data for demonstration purposes)

 

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