Advanced GIS-centric capital planning for city of Napa using MWH Soft technology

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BROOMFIELD, CO, March 31, 2010 -- MWH Soft, a leading global innovator of wet infrastructure modeling and simulation software and technologies, today announced the City of Napa, California, has selected CapPlan Water for the InfoWater ArcGIS-centric (ESRI, Redlands, CA) platform. The City of Napa is the latest utility to turn to the CapPlan product line for advanced decision support and optimization of rehabilitation and renewal spending. The decision further substantiates MWH Soft's worldwide leadership position in GIS engineering, modeling, and management software for water and sewer utilities.

Napa is one of California's older cities, founded in 1847. For the past 30 to 40 years, the city has been in transition. Once an industrial setting, it is now better known for its hospitality, fine food, and luxury hotels. The Water Division is responsible for the operation, maintenance, and improvement of the municipal water system serving near 80,000 people in the City of Napa and neighboring cities.

"The Napa name is synonymous with quality, and our capital planning efforts are no exception," said Megan Thomas, Associate Civil Engineer for the city. "CapPlan Water gives us the ability to incorporate spatial information from our GIS, cost and repair values, historical break data, and hydraulic modeling results to calculate risk scores for the pipes in our system. We can use these scores as a prioritized starting point for deciding which pipes to rehabilitate."

CapPlan Water changes the way water utilities plan the relative phasing of system improvements by allowing users to assess both the probability and consequence of failure for each asset. Probability of failure is determined based on the pipe's physical condition (structural integrity, age, material, roughness factor, leakage/break/defect history) and location (proximity to a seismic fault or construction zone) as well as its hydraulic performance characteristics (head loss, pressure, velocity).

Consequence of failure ranking draws on data such as water outages (schools, hospitals, critical care facilities); low- and no-water conditions; reduced fire protection capabilities; flooding, including structural damage and impacts of chlorinated water in natural waterways; degradation of water quality; and other factors. Assets that affect system operation will normally rate high on the consequence scale, while assets in poor condition will have a high probability of failure.

Built upon ArcGIS and InfoWater platforms, CapPlan Water tackles the toughest data integrity and processing issues that slow typical large-scale asset management analysis projects. Leveraging the unique InfoWater geodatabase architecture, users can seamlessly work between hydraulic modeling calculations and traditional GIS data to determine probability and consequence scores without cumbersome error-prone exports and data synching to third party applications.

CapPlan Water calculates the risk of each asset linearly (consequence score x probability score), using either a bi-directional distribution matrix or a more complex multi-criterion classification. This choice of calculation methods gives the utility unprecedented flexibility to define risk based on virtually any combination of supporting data. The greatest attention can then be given to water mains at highest risk. With this evaluation in hand, water utilities can create fully prioritized short- and long-term water main rehabilitation, replacement, maintenance and management plans and develop sound, cost-effective capital programs to support them.

The program's intuitive interface; easy-to-use functionality; and rich analytical, graphing and reporting capabilities save utilities considerable resources. With minimal effort, users can quickly pinpoint assets at the greatest risk of hydraulic and water quality deficiencies or structural failure, identify the best possible improvement alternatives for optimal system performance, prioritize improvements based on available budget, and realize significant cost savings.

"With many of the world's drinking water distribution systems reaching or having already exceeded their design lives, utilities need smarter ways to prioritize rehabilitation, repair, and/or replacement," said MWH Soft Vice President-Business Director, Americas J. Erick Heath, P.E. "CapPlan Water is the only software package that combines GIS, hydraulic modeling, cost and budgeting data, and advanced decision support in one seamless package. Napa is constantly searching for cost-effective ways to improve system performance and customer service. Their use of CapPlan Water is the latest example of this commitment."

About MWH Soft
MWH Soft is a global leader in wet infrastructure engineering modeling, simulation and management software and professional solutions designed to meet the technological needs of water, wastewater, and stormwater utilities, government agencies, engineering organizations and academic institutions worldwide. With offices in North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific, MWH Soft product lines empower thousands of engineers to competitively plan, manage, design, protect, maintain and operate highly efficient and reliable infrastructure systems. For more information call MWH Soft at +1 626-568-6868, or visit


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