An integrated system approach to characterise a drinking water infrastructure system

Ritsche Anne Kloosterman, Jan Peter van der Hoek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
12 Downloads (Pure)


The object of this article is the drinking water infrastructure (DWI), a critical societal infrastructure. To make effective decisions it is important to characterise and understand the complexity of DWI systems. DWI systems can be seen as a system of systems, consisting of the social-ecological system and the social-technical system. The social-ecological system determines the location and seize of the water resources, while the social-technical system is about the technical infrastructure. The two systems with different characteristics must align to work effective together in the DWI system. The tension between different lifecycles of the assets and dynamic changes in both systems, the time of change, is important to take into account. The SoPhyTech infra framework was developed based on the two systems and time of change. The advantages of applying the SoPhyTech infra framework is studied in a case comparing two very different DWI systems: Indonesia (Semarang) and the Netherlands (Vitens). The SoPhyTech infra framework was shown to be effective for characterising a DWI system with different interacting lifecycles in different systems and it is expected that it also can be used to characterise other infrastructure systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-22
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Journal of Critical Infrastructures
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Complexity
  • Critical infrastructure
  • Decision-making
  • Drinking water
  • Long life time assets
  • Long-term decisions making
  • Semarang
  • Social-ecological system
  • Social-technical system
  • SoS
  • System of systems
  • Technical infrastructure
  • Vitens
  • Water resources

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