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Risk management in water supply networks: Aveiro case study

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Water supply networks are critical infrastructures essentials to health, safety, economic and social well-being which have to be maintained and preserved to ensure their proper functioning. Considering the importance of these critical infrastructures, the risks to which they are exposed and the consequences of such risks must be analysed. Thus, it is important that companies responsible for the management of these assets incorporate risk management in their activities. In the scope of risk management, this paper intends to identify the vulnerabilities of water supply infrastructures, by analysing the risks they are exposed and identifying the measures that need to be implemented or reinforced. Risk assessment methodologies were analysed to identify the advantages and disadvantages of each one. As a case study, the water supply network of the Aveiro municipality in mainland Portugal was used. This network was analysed resourcing ArcMap, ArcGIS desktop software, which allows a better understanding of the water supply network. Risk management was applied and the probability and possible consequences of six distinct categories of threats were determined in eight scenarios, allowing the development of risk maps concluding that all these scenarios are in a low or medium level of risk. To decrease the vulnerability of the water network, a set of plans and specific measures have to be developed.

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The authors acknowledge all the support given by AdRA – Water of Aveiro Region.

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Correspondence to Fernanda Rodrigues.

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Rodrigues, F., Borges, M. & Rodrigues, H. Risk management in water supply networks: Aveiro case study. Environ Sci Pollut Res 27, 4598–4611 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-019-05797-5

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  • Critical infrastructures
  • Risk assessment
  • Water supply network
  • ArcGIS
  • ArcMap