Resilience-based failure mode effects and criticality analysis for regional water supply system

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

An alternative risk assessment method, known as failure mode effects and criticality analysis (FMECA), is demonstrated on the regional water supply systems (RWSS) in Tucson, AZ, USA that combines delivery of potable and reclaimed water and conveyance of wastewater to a developing area within the Tucson RWSS. The goal of FMECA is to examine the volumetric severity of a component failure on the overall system function by modeling the system under alternative failure modes. Within FMECA, the Risk Priority Number (RPN) is applied to compare the risk criticality between components' failures. To complete FMECA, the Tucson RWSS is represented in a network flow model that optimally allocates flows between sources and demand points to minimize operational costs. Potential failure mode consequences are evaluated from the flow model as the volume of water not delivered to users if the component is unavailable. The volumetric severity of the failure event is converted to an ordinal value using stakeholder judgment. Likelihood of each failure mode is similarly defined by stakeholders on a 1–10 scale. The RPN is then computed as the product of the severity and likelihood. RPN values for all failure modes are then ranked to assess the most critical elements. Alternative system configurations are examined to assess the value of redundancies on the Tucson RWSS resilience.

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