Before his presentation, Achieving ISO 55001: learnings and pitfalls, at the Asset Management for Critical Infrastructure Conference, running from 12-13 September in Sydney, Paul Higham, Head of Service Planning & Asset Strategy at Sydney Water, discusses strategic asset management priorities as the utility prepares for the city’s population to almost double to eight million by 2056.

In the face of rapid population growth and other challenges, asset managers may find it difficult to formulate long-term plans and conform to ISO 55001 standards. In this regard, Mr Higham affirmed that asset management success depends heavily on two factors: integration and adaptation.

“The key to effective asset management is incorporating the new with the old to deliver desired outcomes,” Mr Higham said.

“To achieve this, we’re building a fully integrated, consistent and aligned asset management approach across the organisation.”

In order to reduce total investment costs and respond effectively to Sydney’s expected urban explosion, Mr Higham emphasised a dynamic approach to asset management.

“Applying adaptive planning techniques and developing realistic servicing plans will help us improve our long term investment decision making,” Mr Higham said.

“For example, around 70 per cent of our development is in existing urban areas and we are considering installing new pipes rather than upgrading existing ones to increase the reliability of our networks.”  

Utilisation of new advancements in the field — including the Internet of Things (IoT) for performance data collection, and robotic technologies for condition assessment — is also a critical part of the long-term adaptation process.

“The information collected by our newly-integrated technologies is being used to provide more timely intervention responses to asset and product condition, service faults, network performance and condition based maintenance,” Mr Higham said.

“Effectively using asset performance data and predictive analytics capabilities will enhance our ability to manage the lifecycle of our assets and maximise the value we can deliver for customers and the communities we are part of.”

What adaptive asset management techniques has your organisation integrated?

Hear more from Paul Higham about adaptive asset management and ISO 55001 at Asset Management for Critical Infrastructure 2018, running from 12-13 September at Swissôtel in Sydney.

For more information or to register visit

Lauren ‘LJ’ Butler is the Assistant Editor of Utility magazine and has been part of the team at Monkey Media since 2018.

After completing a Bachelor of Media, Communications and Professional Writing at the University of Wollongong in 2014, and prior to writing about the utility sector, LJ worked as a Journalist and Sub Editor across the horticulture, hardware, power equipment, construction and accommodation industries with publishers such as Glenvale Publications, Multimedia Publishing and Bean Media Group.

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