You need a Pressure Manager

Interesting news. Esval (Empresa Sanitaria de Valparaiso) in Chile has a Pressure Manager. A sign of things to come for water company organisation design or an oddity?

Pressure Manager.jpgPerhaps because of the strong regulatory focus on leakage, perhaps because pipes burst and networks leak, many water companies have Leakage Managers. Their work is often dominated by finding and fixing leaks. This can be a thankless task: repairing one leak can just result in a leak somewhere else. The Leakage Manager’s role can be very operational in nature and this is reinforced by reporting to a Network Manager. But in many cases this means that the strategy and planning component – deciding how to minimise leakage by the most cost-effective means – is missing or remote.

The Pressure Manager’s role at Esval is to ensure that minimum viable pressure is achieved across the entire network. The minimum level ensures lowest level of leakage, lowest number of bursts from pressure and transients, and longest asset life. The viable bit is about ensuring that customers get an adequate level of pressure. It seems to provide a nice counterbalance to the traditional focus on finding and fixing leaks.

Of course, as the regulatory requirement for leakage reduction increases, you may be thinking that a Pressure Manager is needed just to keep everyone calm!

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