Subject Code: PM011 Internal Code: 1AIFHJ
Assignment Task: PM011 The Director of Scottish Water has commissioned a pilot study of the water quality in the reservoirs supplying the Greater Glasgow area. In total, 89 reservoirs supply the area with fresh drinking (potable) water. This system has evolved and adapted over more than a century whilst Glasgow’s needs have changed significantly in terms of water volumes and quality. Historical metrics also strongly indicate that the current distribution of reservoirs is inefficient in terms of operational cost. In particular, the use of a variety of ‘inherited’ reservoirs with varying surface areas and chemical treatment policies has come under some scrutiny. The pilot study aims to develop an understanding of the key factors affecting water cost and quality. One possible outcome of the study is a programme of re-building the reservoirs to aid water quality. However, this outcome is only likely if the results are extremely significant. The overall quality of the water is measured using the ‘Index of Biotic Integrity’ or IBI. The highest quality of water will have an IBI score of 100, whereas a score of 0 represents the lowest water quality. Some reservoirs are also ‘treatment sites’ where the water is treated using chemicals to remove impurities prior to storage in the reservoir. The other ‘non-treatment’ reservoirs use chemicals after the water has left the reservoir. The data collected for the study is shown below for all 89 reservoirs. A ‘T’ next to the data indicates that the sample was taken from a ‘treatment site’. The water samples were all taken at a standard mean depth of 3 meters however the data collector reported that a small batch of measurements was taken before a fault was detected (and resolved) in the depth gauge. The fault led to some readings being taken at a mean depth of 1 meter. Any analysis will need to take account of any suspected anomalies and state their possible impact on any conclusions. Your task is to analyse the study data and present your recommendations to the Director in the form of a short, non-technical report. Your results should be clear enough to allow the director to make the best decision. Some examples of possible decisions the director might make are:
Whatever your recommendations are – they must be clearly supported by your calculations using the supplied study data (and possibly secondary research if you choose to use additional relevant sources). You should include a full numerical summary of the data in the pilot study. You should include an explanation of the factors, treatments and any lurking variables which may be present in the pilot study and any future research. You should highlight any possible errors in measurement, data anomalies or outliers and describe their effect on your conclusions. You should describe any correlation between the variables if present. You should summarize any findings in the form of supported recommendations that allow the Director to decide policy for the future. The clarity of these recommendations and their reasons are paramount. Therefore you should not use any statistical ‘jargon’ in your recommendations or in your justification for your recommendations. The Director of Scottish Water knows the business very well. The Director does not know statistics.
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