Robustness and water distribution system: State-of-the-art review

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14 Citations (Scopus)


The resilience of a water distribution system (WDS) is defined as its ability to prepare, respond to, and recover from a catastrophic failure event such as an earthquake or intentional contamination. Robustness (ROB), one of the components of resilience, is the ability to maintain functionality to meet customer demands. Recently, the traditional probability-based system performance perspective has begun to shift toward the ROB and system performance variation point of view. This paper provides a state-of-the-art review of WDS ROB-based approaches proposed in three research categories: Design, operation, and management. While few pioneering works have been published in the latter two areas, an ROB indicator was proposed and thoroughly investigated for WDS design. Then, some future works are recommended in each of the three domains to promote developments in WDS ROB. Finally, a brief summary of this paper is presented, from which the final conclusions of the state-of-the-art review and recommendations are drawn. The new paradigm of WDS ROB-based design, operation, and management is in its infant stage and should be carved out in future studies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number974
JournalWater (Switzerland)
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2019 May 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 by the authors.


  • Design
  • Operation and management
  • Resilience
  • Robustness
  • Water distribution system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Aquatic Science
  • Biochemistry


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