Topological robustness and vulnerability assessment of water distribution networks
Being able to assess the reliability of the network against different hazards helps water distribution agencies prioritize their interventions and ensure a minimum reliability level of the network. Research to-date has helped identify a number of potential time-invariant and time-dependent risk factors contributing to pipe fragility and network reliability. Among them are factors such as a pipe’s age, diameter, material and number of previous breaks, as well as the network’s topology, operating pressure and water flow. In terms of introducing a network’s topology to its risk level, recent work has highlighted the importance of a network’s connectivity to its reliability and the need for robust appraisal methods of network connectivity metrics. The work described herein discusses such a method based on a network’s ‘betweenness centrality’ index and demonstrates its importance using a case-study Water Distribution Network (WDN) under both normal and abnormal operating conditions. The proposed method is also coupled with spatial mapping to indicate areas of concern in the network, and with a decision support system to assist in prioritizing actions to improve on the network’s robustness and resilience.