Resilience Quantification of Large-Scale Water Distribution Networks

A Probabilistic Approach

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The capacity of a community to react to and resist during an emergency situation is highly related to the proper functioning of its infrastructure systems. Improving the infrastructure response and recovery capacity through management and adaptation strategies can help increase community resilience. Infrastructural assets are considered outdated in almost all countries in the world. This poses a clear vulnerability to infrastructure systems when subjected to disaster events such as earthquakes. This paper proposes a statistical probabilistic approach to quantify the resilience of large-scale Water Distribution Networks (WDN). The resilience of the network is evaluated using two indices: (1) the number of users without water, and (2) the drop in the total water supply, assuming that the local failure of the system occurs when the water flow and the water pressure go below a certain threshold. A series of earthquake scenarios are applied to the studied water network whose damage is determined using fragility functions that integrate the WDN characteristics with the seismic intensity. As an illustration, the proposed approach is used to quantify the resilience of a WDN in a virtual community testbed with 900,000 inhabitants. Results obtained show interesting correlation between the earthquake occurrence time, the water demand pattern, and the pipes material. The presented approach is the first step towards a systemic planning of the maintenance activities and budget allocation of pipeline networks, where both vulnerability and criticality of pipes are combined to obtain a more comprehensive resilience index of the network.


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