Sr. Mohd Hazley Halim, Head of Facility Management at the National Water Asset Management Company in Malaysia shares with FutureGov how they are leveraging mapping technology to improve management of crucial water utilities.
The Water Asset Management Company or Pengurusan Aset Air Berhad (PAAB) is a wholly owned entity under the Ministry of Finance. It forms part of the Federal Government’s efforts to restructure the water services industry in Malaysia to achieve efficiency and quality in the delivery of water services to the public.
“When you look at the components of the water industry, we have the catchments, dams, reservoirs, water treatment plants and various distribution systems. Until recently, however, we had no idea how the resources were being used. It became a critical priority to have a central record of each asset’s condition so we can properly optimise costs and maximise the use of our assets wisely,” says Hazley.
“I think it’s very important that decision makers stress the increasing importance of asset management in running an organisation. Knowing your assets like the back of your hand enables an organisation to ensure that costs, revenue and resources are managed effectively.”
In this aspect, Hazley stresses the preservation, record keeping and verification of data as factors critical for asset management.
“Whatever project that has been planned, built and put on the ground changes over time. In addition, the number of assets an organisation owns also tends to increase over time, thus making record keeping and verification of data a bit of a challenge.”
To address such problems posed by its growing number of assets and participating operators, PAAB developed a web dashboard application which provides a high level view into the operations and asset handling of the organisation. It leverages on the capabilities of Esri’s ArcGIS technology to enable better asset management and decision making through a series of information pop-ups and reports so that concise map-centric content can be visualised.
In addition, the application is also able to address data security concerns by having a secured login access to the PAAB’s central geodatabase which allows the following functionalities: retrieval of operational and maintenance information relating to assets, queries for customer consumption and maintenance, access to information relating to assets, report plant breakdowns, service disruptions and interventions and as well as the capability to quickly produce high quality maps and access technical drawings for repairs and maintenance.
By using the web dashboard, PAAB and its participating operators would be able to access detailed information of the country’s water assets.
“For example, if you want to see data about water reservoirs, with the dashboard you can see a spatially referenced inventory about each reservoir, the year it was built, top and bottom water levels, updates with the maintenance and other relevant information needed for decision making and forecasting.”
“At the moment, we are now conducting trainings and workshops for our operators in Negeri Sembilan, Malacca and Johor to use the system.”
Meanwhile, according to Haji isa Abu Bakar, Chief Operating Officer of PAAB, for the longest time, Malaysia has been regarded as world class in terms of infrastructure but the same unfortunately cannot be said when it comes to facility maintenance.
“As PAAB is working towards using the system on a much larger scale in next couple of years, we hope it can be implemented by all migrated operators involved in shaping Malaysia’s water industry system so that we may eventually raise the standards of Asset Management in the country.”
“We hope this can be adopted by the whole industry so that everyone has a single system that will make it easier for us to better manage our assets and facilities and give us an oversight on how to move the industry forward,” he says.
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