Life Cycle

In the case of levees, Life Cycle of Asset Management focuses on investing scarce resources in the most effective way. Extensive experience and expertise have been acquired in other sectors with this approach, and it has proven to be appropriate for levees. It is possible to distinguish between different phases of the life cycle for levees:
-    sound management and maintenance
-    periodical safety assessment
-    designing upgrades when required
-    upgrade implementation.
Levees may also be affected by calamitous developments.

At each phase of the life cycle, information helps to deploy scarce resources effectively. By comparison with structures without measuring and monitoring systems, smart levees can deliver a wealth of specific and dedicated data. The correct interpretation of those data establishes a picture of levee status and behaviour. The more data and information we have, the more reliable our understanding. Any shortfalls should be remedied.

The data and information acquired are stored for use, and re-use, in every phase of the life cycle. The result is a tailored data and information cycle that shadows the life cycle of the levee and that allows for the active re-use of data and information collected in the past.

The computing power of ICT systems has increased considerably in recent years, making it possible to integrate data from different databases and establish links with existing dike strength analysis models. The results of large-scale experiments (such as the IJkdijk experiments) show that the combination of different models and sources of data establish a better, and more reliable, understanding of levees. As a result, a qualitative improvement is possible in all activities in the life cycle, leading to better priority-setting for the work required, and to improvements in flood protection.