At the request of the French Ministry for Ecological and Inclusive Transition (MTES) and the French Biodiversity Agency (AFB), INRAE carried out a study focusing on the creation of a national asset knowledge base for drinking water networks, operating at Water Agency (WA) scale. Our study involved the creation of a number of statistical models. These models combine data relating to network characteristics (gathered from a sample of utilities) with geographical and demographical data collected from all municipalities in France. The SISPEA database, along with GIS data from a sample covering around half of the total French drinking water network, were used to configure multi-linear pipe models by diameter, installation period and type of material. On the basis of these models, the total length of drinking water pipes in mainland France was estimated to be 875,000 km. Networks are quite young (60% of the total length was laid after 1970), small diameter pipes are the majority (70% of the pipes have a diameter less than or equal to 100 mm) and the materials used are linked on geographic areas (pipes are mainly made of PVC in the west of France while cast iron pipes predominate in the other regions).

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