System Life Cycle EvaluationSM (SLiCE): harmonizing water treatment systems with implementers' needs

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One of the methods proposed to improve access to clean drinking water is the mobile packaged water treatment system (MPWTS). The lack of published system performance comparisons combined with the diversity of technology available and intended operating conditions make it difficult for stakeholders to choose the system best suited for their application. MPWTS are often deployed in emergency situations, making selection of the appropriate system crucial to avoiding wasted resources and loss of life. Measurable critical-to-quality characteristics (CTQs) and a system selection tool for MPWTS were developed by utilizing relevant literature, including field studies, and implementing and comparing seven different MPWTS. The proposed System Life Cycle Evaluation (SLiCE) method uses these CTQs to evaluate the diversity in system performance and harmonize relevant performance with stakeholder preference via a selection tool. Agencies and field workers can use SLiCE results to inform and drive decision-making. The evaluation and selection tool also serves as a catalyst for communicating system performance, common design flaws, and stakeholder needs to system manufacturers. The SLiCE framework can be adopted into other emerging system technologies to communicate system performance over the life cycle of use.

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