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Response of water systems under extreme events: a comprehensive approach to modeling water system resilience



Hana T. Chmielewski, Roberto Guidotti, Therese P. McAllister, Paolo Gardoni


Water systems (e.g. potable water, wastewater, and storm water systems) are regarded as "lifeline" infrastructure. They play a key role in supporting the everyday activities of communities. Their disruption can cause cascading effects, influencing the economy of an entire region and the general well-being of communities. In addition, past hazard events show that water availability is crucial for minimizing the societal impact of such events and for recovery processes. Water systems are typically distributed over a large area and, because of the variety of components, are vulnerable in different ways to multiple hazards. To date, research in water system reliability has focused on either probabilistic scenarios of physical damage to system components, or disruption to hydraulic performance after an event, or simulation of component and system recovery. Currently, no system model exists that couples stochastic simulations of hazards events, and their direct and indirect physical damage to water system components, with hydraulic simulations of functionality loss and restoration , including water quality, pressure, and flow throughout the network. This work presents a comprehensive approach to the modeling of water system resilience subject to a seismic event; however, the procedure is general and can be applied to other network systems and hazards. The model performs: i) a baseline deterministic hydraulic analysis on an undamaged water system, focusing on meaningful functionality metrics, (i.e. water pressure, quantity and quality); ii) a probabilistic analysis of the damaged system considering the damage state and the performance level of each component; iii) a probabilistic analysis of the water system functionality, considering the physical damage analysis and the recovery time of each component.
Conference Dates
May 22-26, 2016
Conference Location
West Palm Beach, FL
Conference Title


Chmielewski, H. , Guidotti, R. , McAllister, T. and Gardoni, P. (2016), Response of water systems under extreme events: a comprehensive approach to modeling water system resilience, WORLD ENVIRONMENTAL & WATER RESOURCES CONGRESS 2016, West Palm Beach, FL, [online], (Accessed May 18, 2024)


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Created May 22, 2016, Updated November 10, 2018