Resilience of Water Distribution Systems during Real-Time Operations under Limited Water and/or Energy Availability Conditions

Puneet Khatavkar, Larry W. Mays

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


A methodology for determining system operation resilience is presented for the real-time operation of water distribution systems (WDS) under critical conditions of limited water or electrical energy resulting from extreme drought or electric grid failure. Resilience for water distribution systems is defined as how quickly the WDS recovers or bounces back from emergency to normal operations. The algorithm for operational resilience was interfaced with an optimization-simulation model for the real-time optimal operation of water distribution systems. The resilience methodology considered both demand and water quality requirements of both the municipal WDS and the power plant cooling systems. The optimization-simulation modeling approach interfaced a genetic algorithm optimization procedure with the WDS hydraulic and water quality simulator (EPANET) in the framework of an optimal control problem. The interfacing of the genetic algorithm in MATLAB and the EPANET model was implemented using a MATLAB-EPANET toolkit. An example WDS including two cities, five power plants, and reclaimed water from a wastewater treatment plant was used to demonstrate the application of system operation resilience concepts to assess the performance. The resilience computation methodology presented in this study is applicable to both short-term and long-term failures of WDS. For the purposes of this study, the methodology was applied to three scenarios of short-term (2-6 h) power outages for the example WDS. A sensitivity analysis was performed for resilience of example WDSs under varying degrees of long-term system-level power and water shortages. Applications of the methodology are used to illustrate improved operation resilience of the system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number04019045
JournalJournal of Water Resources Planning and Management
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2019


  • Optimization
  • Real-time operations
  • Resilience
  • Simulation
  • Water distribution systems
  • Water energy nexus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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