All people in developed countries benefit from running water in their homes. Providing this service calls for a significant quantity of pipes. To preserve water resources and ensure good network performance, it is important that pipes are renewed at the optimum time. This article presents the two main approaches currently used to plan pipe renewal, one using ‘short-term’ models (1–3 years), and the other employing ‘long-term’ models (more than 30 years). The majority of short-term models are fairly robust, whereas most long-term models currently in use are of questionable quality. The aim of this paper is to design a long-term model in compliance with short-term decisions and future goals. The method was tested using data from the largest water utility in Europe. This paper first estimates the past survival curve for water pipes, based on their age at removal from service. It is then used to make predictions about when pipes will require replacement. A number of performance indicators are then created, such as future renewal length, renewal rate, and future investment need. The proposed approach is different from existing long-term models because it is based on actual historical survival function.

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