Investment and cost estimation methods can be applied for the economic assessment of water infrastructure projects such as seawater desalination plants, transfer networks or hydropower projects. Software tools can provide decision support by means of pre-implemented calculation schemes and analysis functionalities.
Choosing between different technological solutions and designing water infrastructure systems is a complex planning problem. For identifying, evaluating and selecting possible projects, a techno-economic analysis can be useful in order to approximate costs or capital requirements at an early planning stage with reasonable effort. In this way, technical variants can be differentiated and economics of decision alternatives can be assessed.
Methods of investment and cost estimation can be used for the economic appraisal of decision alternatives. This software tool with underlying calculation schemes and analysis functionalities provides decision support for policymakers and practitioners, while at the same time keeping the required effort at a reasonable level.
It has been developed and implemented within the SALAM initiative. Functionalities of the software include the calculation of water costs by seawater desalination projects, the estimation of capital requirements, (levelized) costs of hydropower projects and water transfer infrastructure. Furthermore, functionalities for the analysis of major cost-components and drivers as well as comprehensive sensitivity analyses are available. This allows the influence of changes in the input parameters on economic parameters and other uncertainties to be analyzed.