A Methodology to Assess and Mitigate Operational Vulnerabilities Due to Aging Water Utility System Infrastructures (PSAM-0338)


Commercial organizations and individuals expect water utilities to provide services without interruption. Nevertheless, interruptions of variable duration in the treatment and delivery of water do occur. If not planned for these disruptions could present substantial impacts to the water user. Disruptions could be the result of the occurrence of singular or multiple threats, e.g., a natural hazard such as an earthquake, an act of terrorism, or lapses in preventative maintenance due to budget constraints and the coincidental occurrence of an accident. To maximize effectiveness and optimize an organization's financial resources one must do more than plan for the worst of every threat, but to identify vulnerabilities in context of credible scenarios and make mitigation decisions based upon the life-cycle context of the system, including associated variability of the life cycle cost elements, and the non-monetary aspects of the system.

Select aspects of water utility system infrastructures are used to introduce and illustrate a methodology that incorporates life cycle elements and variability due to physical condition, maintenance, natural and human made hazards, and their impact on a research university served by the system. While the examples refer to a disturbance in the water supply system and the occurrence of a fire, it can be expanded to include other risks or modified to apply to other complex systems.

  • Summary/Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Methodology
  • Illustration - Water Utility Infrastructures
  • Conclusions
  • References

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