Cascading Failures in Interconnected Power-to-Water Networks

Evangelos Pournaras, Riccardo Taormina, Manish Thapa, Stefano Galelli, Venkata Palleti, Robert Kooij

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
17 Downloads (Pure)


The manageability and resilience of critical infrastructures, such as power and water networks, is challenged by their increasing interdependence and interconnectivity. Power networks often experience cascading failures, i.e. blackouts, that have unprecedented economic and social impact. Al- though knowledge exists about how to control such complex non-linear phenomena within a single power network, little is known about how such failures can spread and coevolve in the water network when failing power components energize the water distribution infrastructure, i.e. pumps and valves. This paper studies such a scenario and specifically the impact of power cascading failures on shortages of water supply. A realistic exemplary of an interconnected power-to-water network is experimentally evaluated using a modular simulation approach. Power and waterflow dynamics are simulated separately by taking into account different maximum powerlines capacities and water demand requirements. Results showcase the strong dependency of urban water sup- ply systems on the reliability of power networks, with severe shortages of water supply being caused by failures originating indistant power lines, especially for heavily loaded power networks.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16-20
Number of pages5
JournalPerformance Evaluation Review
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository ‘You share, we take care!’ – Taverne project
Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


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