Articles | Volume 13, issue 4
Research article
18 Apr 2013
Research article |  | 18 Apr 2013

A systemic method for evaluating the potential impacts of floods on network infrastructures

J. Eleutério, C. Hattemer, and A. Rozan

Abstract. Understanding network infrastructures and their operation under exceptional circumstances is fundamental for dealing with flood risks and improving the resilience of a territory. This work presents a method for evaluating potential network infrastructure dysfunctions and damage in cases of flooding. In contrast to existing approaches, this method analyses network infrastructures on an elementary scale, by considering networks as a group of elements with specific functions and individual vulnerabilities. Our analysis places assets at the centre of the evaluation process, resulting in the construction of damage-dysfunction matrices based on expert interviews. These matrices permit summarising the different vulnerabilities of network infrastructures, describing how the different components are linked to each other and how they can disrupt the operation of the network. They also identify the actions and resources needed to restore the system to operational status following damage and dysfunctions, an essential point when dealing with the question of resilience. The method promotes multi-network analyses and is illustrated by a French case study. Sixty network experts were interviewed during the analysis of the following networks: drinking water supply, waste water, public lighting, gas distribution and electricity supply.