WDS Vulnerability Analysis: Focusing on Random Factors, Consumer Behavior, and System Dynamics in Contamination Events Conference Paper uri icon


  • A contamination event in a water distribution system (WDS) occurs in a dynamic system where hydraulics, operations, and consumer demands can all change significantly during the course of the event. Past research has typically not included the role of consumer actions and responses during contamination events in changing WDS behavior. This paper will present ongoing work to address this deficiency in WDS emergency response planning. Vulnerability assessment is an initial phase in the overall emergency planning framework. However, standard vulnerability assessment methods do not generally focus on the role of dynamic system changes nor do they focus on the role of false positives. A novel method will be presented that combines traditional assessment techniques with attention to these issues. Moreover, meta-analysis of contamination case studies is used to determine probabilistic functions for important characteristics of contamination events. The goals of the vulnerability assessment are expanded beyond traditional ones to include identification of needed information on consumer behavior, utility operations response, and system dynamics. This work is preparatory to upcoming public surveys, agent-based modeling, and stochastic simulation-optimization analysis. 2010 ASCE.

name of conference

  • World Environmental and Water Resources Congress 2010

published proceedings

  • World Environmental and Water Resources Congress 2010

author list (cited authors)

  • Rasekh, A., Brumbelow, K., & Zechman, E. M.

citation count

  • 7

complete list of authors

  • Rasekh, Amin||Brumbelow, Kelly||Zechman, Emily M

publication date

  • January 2010