Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Direct and Cascading Effects of Seismic Events on the Response of Water and Electrical Power Networks



Roberto Guidotti, Hana T. Chmielewski, Vipin Unnikrishnan, Gardoni Paolo, Therese P. McAllister, John W. van de Lindt


Water and electrical power networks are critical infrastructure in our communities; their disruption, e.g., due to the occurrence of hazard events, greatly affects communities' well-being, the economic and social response of the entire region and recovery processes. A hazard event may cause direct physical damage to several vulnerable components in a given network. In addition, a disruption in one network may cause cascading effects, resulting in disruptions of dependent systems and, more generally, degrading the functionality of affected interconnected networks. For example, the functionality of a water pump in the aftermath of a hazard event depends not only on its possible direct damage but also on the availability of the power network (or local generators). This paper presents a probabilistic approach to the modeling of the dependence among networks. The procedure is general and can be applied to different connected systems and hazards, as well as be modified to model interdependence (i.e., the mutual dependence between different networks.) As an illustration of the general formulation, the paper considers the effects of damage to the electrical power network following a seismic event on the functionality of potable water network. The results quantify the loss of functionality and the delay in the recovery process induced by the dependence of the two systems.
Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure


Guidotti, R. , Chmielewski, H. , Unnikrishnan, V. , Paolo, G. , McAllister, T. and van de Lindt, J. (2016), Direct and Cascading Effects of Seismic Events on the Response of Water and Electrical Power Networks, Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure (Accessed July 14, 2024)


If you have any questions about this publication or are having problems accessing it, please contact

Created December 21, 2016, Updated October 12, 2021