Identifying interdependent critical infrastructure assets in urban flood events


“Critical infrastructure (CI), such as water distribution, electric power, transportation, healthcare and telecommunication networks provide essential services, enabling societal functions and social welfare, as well as contributing to all dimensions of sustainable development [1,2]. These networks are becoming increasingly complex and interdependent [3,4], which enables more efficient functioning of individual infrastructure. However, an additional risk factor is also introduced in case of disruptions, as failures can propagate through the various infrastructure systems causing cascading effects that often exacerbate the impact of the initial disruption [5–7]. Such critical infrastructure systems are exposed significantly to natural hazards [8], a trend that is likely to increase due to climate change and the associated intensification of hydrometeorological hazards [9,10].
In this context, increasing the resilience of interdependent critical infrastructure has received widespread attention in recent years and has been broadly accepted as a means to minimize adverse impacts and reduce disaster risk [11]. Additionally, it has been included in numerous national and international documents [12–14], including the Sendai framework endorsed by the UN General Assembly [15]. This increase of resilience (including addressing aspects like robustness, redundancy, flexibility, recovery etc.) should be initially approached at a localized or single-infrastructure level, as detailed knowledge of each system (including its boundaries and dependencies, purpose, structure and functions) is required. However, a higher level understanding of the response of the wider system at a city or regional scale is also crucial and the criticality of infrastructure assets needs to be assessed. The latter is addressed in the presented work, by introducing a criticality index, which takes into account the exposure of CI assets to a given hazard, their vulnerability and the expected impact extents in case of their failure, including cascading effects. The approach is showcased at the Torbay region (UK) for the case of flooding.”

(Citation: Chatzistefanou, G.A., Chen, A.S., Djordjevic, S., – Identifying interdependent critical infrastructure assets in urban flood events – 19th International Computing & Control for the Water Industry Conference, Leicester, 4-7 September 2023)

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