'Typically, data generated by the drinking water industry is used daily to make operational decisions regarding water resource management, water treatment, and distribution strategies. Failure of accurate and timely reporting of some of the data can result in compliance violations, which can be costly and embarrassing for utilities. If managed, aggregated, and stored effectively, the data could help determine management strategies for repeated situations. This study sought to help improve the data management and operations of drinking water utilities. The four objectives of this study were to: review the state of knowledge management as an industry; illustrate how knowledge management might be used in a drinking water utility; review how knowledge management is being applied in utilities; develop a pilot knowledge management implementation system for a drinking water utility. It is clear that knowledge management tools can address many of the barriers related to water quality issues and facilitate the solutions for drinking water utilities.
The primary recommendation from the research team was the development of an Information Bureau whose mission is to make data available, develop the knowledge management infrastructure needed, and be a recognized resource for gathering information. However, prior to implementation of a knowledge management system, a requirements analysis should be conducted, utility size should be considered, and the recognition of the cultural change that accompanies knowledge management should be recognized. Originally published by AwwaRF for its subscribers in 2003 This publication can also be purchased and downloaded via Pay Per View on Water Intelligence Online - click on the Pay Per View icon below