Open Science Research Excellence

Open Science Index

Commenced in January 2007 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Abstract Count: 56743

Criticality Assessment Model for Water Pipelines Using Fuzzy Analytical Network Process
Water networks (WNs) are responsible of providing adequate amounts of safe, high quality, water to the public. As other critical infrastructure systems, WNs are subjected to deterioration which increases the number of breaks and leaks and lower water quality. In Canada, 35% of water assets require critical attention and there is a significant gap between the needed and the implemented investments. Thus, the need for efficient rehabilitation programs is becoming more urgent given the paradigm of aging infrastructure and tight budget. The first step towards developing such programs is to formulate a Performance Index that reflects the current condition of water assets along with its criticality. While numerous studies in the literature have focused on various aspects of condition assessment and reliability, limited efforts have investigated the criticality of such components. Critical water mains are those whose failure cause significant economic, environmental or social impacts on a community. Inclusion of criticality in computing the performance index will serve as a prioritizing tool for the optimum allocating of the available resources and budget. In this study, several social, economic, and environmental factors that dictate the criticality of a water pipelines have been elicited from analyzing the literature. Expert opinions were sought to provide pairwise comparisons of the importance of such factors. Subsequently, Fuzzy Logic along with Analytical Network Process (ANP) was utilized to calculate the weights of several criteria factors. Multi Attribute Utility Theories (MAUT) was then employed to integrate the aforementioned weights with the attribute values of several pipelines in Montreal WN. The result is a criticality index, 0-1, that quantifies the severity of the consequence of failure of each pipeline. A novel contribution of this approach is that it accounts for both the interdependency between criteria factors as well as the inherited uncertainties in calculating the criticality. The practical value of the current study is represented by the automated tool, Excel-MATLAB, which can be used by the utility managers and decision makers in planning for future maintenance and rehabilitation activities where high-level efficiency in use of materials and time resources is required.