AbstractRisk-based asset management of water pipes is important to support pipe renewal prioritization decisions. Risk is a function of the likelihood and consequence of failure. Certain gaps were observed from the literature and a practice review of the consequences of failure modeling related to lack of data used, methodologies used, and the model testing quality. This study proposes a novel fuzzy inference system (FIS)–based consequence of failure model to assess the comprehensive failure impacts of a water pipe based on economic impacts, social impacts, environmental impacts, operational characteristics, and renewal complexity and ranks pipes into a 0 = insignificant to 5 = catastrophic scale. The 20 input parameters categorized into five modules and the 381 fuzzy rules are based on published literature, secondary data, and interviews with 25 experts from large water utilities, consultancies, and pipe associations. The model results can also be visualized on a geographic information system (GIS) for each pipe segment in the water distribution and transmission network. The applicability of the proposed model was evaluated based on data from a large water utility in the US, and the sensitive parameters were also identified. The results from model validation indicated that the proposed fuzzy-based methodology was useful for accurately modeling the consequences of failure of water pipes achieving a high root mean square error (RMSE) of 0.96.

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