The European Project CARE-W (Computer Aided Rehabilitation of Water Networks), which is supported by the European Commission, has created and tested a prototype of decision support system for the rehabilitation of water pipes. Inside the project, the present operational decision making processes have been analysed in 14 water utilities. The objectives were to identify the involved actors and their interactions, as well as the structure (formal and non formal) of the decision processes: institutional and regulatory contexts, steps of decision making, information fluxes, sharing out of responsibilities and of influence, participation of social and institutional stakeholders. Synthetic results are presented. The cases studied are diversified on several aspects. An “average” situation could be described as showing a moderate level of confrontation, with rather formalised procedures, and very centralised decision making out of the interrelations with road works programming. The highest diversity encountered among the utilities concerns the level of information inside the decision process: data considered, fluxes of information, “sophistication” of criteria taken into account.

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