IWA Publishing

A resilience-based prioritization scheme for water main rehabilitation


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Water supply infrastructure in the United States is one lifeline system that is in dire need of huge financial investments to counter pipeline deterioration while keeping up with increasing demands and reliability goals. With decreasing financial resources available to state and local governments, effective decision-making tools for pipeline prioritization are becoming an increasingly integral part of the water utility industry. A majority of existing prioritization frameworks are merely based on the likelihood of the failure of pipelines and the resulting consequences, with little consideration given to the utility's response time to a water pipeline failure. This paper presents a novel resilience-based framework for effective prioritization of water distribution pipelines. The novelty lies in estimating the utility's response time to a pipeline failure. The proposed framework is demonstrated on a section of a real water distribution network in a coastal city of the United States. The pipeline priority results obtained are also compared with those from a more traditional risk-based prioritization scheme, and a reasonably significant difference has been observed. While availability of quality data is a challenge, this study brings to attention the importance of response time to water pipeline failures and demonstrates the merits of incorporating it in a prioritization scheme.

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