Case Study: Rancho California Water District

This case study was presented at WEFTEC 2014 by Tacoma Zach with Terry Nelson and Fred Edgecombe, Rancho California Water District. This project addressed the challenges of setting priorities for limited funds following years of deferred maintenance and capital projects.


In 2005 the Rancho California Water District in Temecula, California began planning for the substantial redesign and expansion of its sole water reclamation facility. The plant expansion was put on hold for legal reasons and declining flows in 2008. The District reduced its repair and maintenance budget by deferring repairs and capital improvements pending the plant expansion. By 2012 the District and its contributory partners began examining other options. The amount of deferred maintenance accumulated over the preceding seven years and the anticipated delay for any new option presented a challenge for the facility staff. With limited funds for repair and the uncertainty of the Board of Directors supporting major capital improvements, it became very clear that any funds for repair would need to be spent on critical assets first.

In late fall of 2012 a criticality analysis was initiated with the aid of Uberlytics. The unique approach and tool set was originally developed over the course of a decade and successfully applied at numerous plants across the US, and is specifically developed to be transferable to in-house staff. A recent CMMS upgrade had just been completed and was the starting point of the analysis. The overall criticality ranking was developed using a unique ‘failure scenario’ analysis at the functional system level. Several new and previously unrecognized critical systems were identified as well as several new risk mitigating opportunities at various levels of commitment. One of the key objectives with assuming this unique approach and the specific outside consultant was to pass on the necessary skill set and facilitation tools to the in-house Rancho staff for follow-on analyses.

As a result of the criticality analysis, several additional initiatives are under way including condition assessment and failure mode analysis (FMA) development plans for both the wastewater and water departments.

Read the full Case Study: Rancho California Water District Criticality Analysis