Probabilistic forecasting is not a new concept, but in most civil infrastructure applications, it has not been a concept heavily utilized. Nevertheless, this technology can be applied to water and wastewater utilities to help with infrastructure renewal and replacement planning, long-term water supply planning and more.

By: JD Solomon, CH2M HILL Vice President

JD Solomon will present “Dealing with Uncertainty and Risk: Using Probabilistic Forecasting for Infrastructure Planning, Renewal, and Replacement,” during the Water Environment Federation and American Water Works Association’s annual Utility Management Conference in Savannah, GA, on Thursday, February 27 at 11 a.m.

For a complete schedule of CH2M HILL’s participation in UMC 2014, click here.

Probabilistic forecasting is not a new concept – in fact, it has been around for more than 60 years.  But in many civil infrastructure applications, with the possible exception of construction estimating and scheduling, it has been under-utilized and almost forgotten.  More than ever in the age of limited resources and the age of risk optimization (especially with more user friendly and dynamic commercially available software packages), it is one of the best old technologies that can be put to use today.

Last November during the Risk Conference in Las Vegas, my colleague and I had an unusual opportunity to present back-to-back presentations on probabilistic forecasting utilized by a local wastewater utility.  The opportunity was not necessarily unusual in terms of the probabilistic approaches that we discussed; however, it was unusual in terms of the subject being a three-phase project for a wastewater utility, as most of the other case studies  came from the energy, aerospace, automotive, healthcare, and general manufacturing sectors.

At UMC 2014, I will share best practices from four similar projects to highlight the relevance and power of probabilistic forecasting in the water and wastewater utility industry.  These projects will include applications related to emergency funding, renewal and replacement planning, long-term water supply planning, and even the application related to a public-private partnership (P3).  I’ll talk about practical aspects and limitations and hit upon key theories and best practices as well. I hope to see you there.

JD Solomon is a Vice President at CH2M HILL and serves as the Global Water Market leader for Strategic Consulting in the eastern U.S.